LIVINGSTON — Belk will be holding a soft opening on Saturday at Juban Crossing, according to officials with Creekstone Companies, the project’s developer.
Scott Crawford, an attorney for Creekstone, told the parish council on Thursday that Belk will open to customers Saturday in order to “work out the kinks” before Juban Crossing’s Phase 1 grand opening on Wednesday.
Contrary to earlier reports, Kohl’s and Forever 21 will not be part of Phase 1, which is opening between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15. A spokeswoman for Creekstone, Rebecca Rainer, said Friday the developer is “currently in negotiations” with Kohl’s and Forever 21.
Crawford said stores slated to open during the first phase include Rouses, Ulta, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross, Shoe Carnival, PetSmart, Lane Bryant, Old Navy, Michaels, TJ Maxx, Academy, Great American Cookie and Marble Slab.
Crawford also confirmed the 14-screen Movie Tavern will serve food and alcohol and will require children younger than 17 to be accompanied by an adult.
Because the theater has changed concepts, it will not open until spring 2015, Crawford said.
In other business Thursday, the Parish Council narrowly approved, on a 5-3 vote, a waiver of the parish’s mobile home park ordinances to allow a woman to move her son’s caregiver onto her property.
Shannon Albin, of Holden, said her husband died in April, and she has spent every penny of his life insurance buying a 2-acre tract and making a down payment on a handicapped-accessible mobile home for herself and her two children, one of whom has special needs. Albin asked the council for permission to keep a single-wide trailer on the same property for her son’s caregiver.
Parish codes allow up to three mobile homes on a single tract without complying with the mobile home park regulations, but only if the residents of those mobile homes are heirs of the landowner.
Walker resident Taryn Creekbaum, a vocal opponent of waivers to the parish’s ordinances, said the Parish Council has no right to permit exceptions beyond those expressly stated in the law.
“Those ordinances are paid for by the taxpayers,” Creekbaum said. “To allow noncompliance detracts from the strength and credibility of the entire code.”
James Camp, of Denham Springs, encouraged the council to consider how many waivers have been granted over the years and whether that indicates the regulations are too stringent. If so, the council should change its codes, rather than continue granting waivers, he said.
Albin described her son as “a very medically fragile person” and pleaded for the council to allow her to have someone who can help the family move onto the same property.
“I need a hardship waiver. I just need help,” Albin said, her voice shaking.
Council Chairman Ricky Goff said Albin’s situation was not one where multiple mobile homes were being crowded onto a small tract of land. The waiver was needed only regarding who would be living in the home, he said.
But Goff joined council members Cindy Wale Franz and Jim Norred in voting against the waiver.
Councilman Delos Blackwell, in whose district Albin lives, thanked the council for helping Albin.
Editor’s note: This article was changed on Oct. 10, 2014, to reflect that Creekstone Companies is currently in negotiations with Kohl’s and Forever 21 and that the two stores won’t be among those opening in Phase 1 of the Juban’s Crossing project.
Follow Heidi R. Kinchen on Twitter, @HeidiRKinchen.