The Gonzales Planning and Zoning Commission has given the nod for zoning requests on a 344-acre mixed-use community on La. 44 to go to the City Council for a vote.

“This development is something really needed in this area, and I’m excited about it,” Commissioner John Lanoux said of the Conway Plantation community being developed by Southern Lifestyle Development.

The City Council will vote on the matter at its next meeting, April 13.

At a public hearing Monday night, Robert Daigle, managing partner of Lafayette-based Southern Lifestyle Development, and Prescott Bailey, area president for the company, said the project will offer a traditional neighborhood development combining retail and residential, traditional single-family homes and apartments.

Developers of Conway Plantation are requesting traditional neighborhood development zoning for 106 acres of the project, formerly zoned for varying residential lot sizes and for retail commercial.

The company also is requesting 6,000-square-foot-lot residential zoning for 204 acres of the property, which was formerly zoned commercial.

Bailey said the developers will be adding an additional northbound traffic lane on the property to make two northbound lanes on La. 44 to Interstate 10.

The main entrance of Conway Plantation onto La. 44 also will have a two-lane roundabout, Bailey said.

Ernest Allen, a resident of the Pelican Point subdivision farther south on La. 44, voiced his concerns about increased traffic on the state highway, and Bobby Schexnayder, who lives on Loosemore Road at the southern edge of the development, voiced his worries about increased traffic there.

Daigle said the development company had spent $27,000 on an independent traffic study, requested by the state Department of Transportation and Development, and will present it to DOTD in the future.

Southern Lifestyle Development believes a second northbound lane to the interstate would be helpful, Daigle said.

In the end, he said, “The DOTD will decide what happens.”

He said DOTD has told the developers that the state is currently designing a roundabout at Loosemore Road where it intersects with La. 44.

In another matter, the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing May 4 on a request from developer Sonny Lamendola to extend commercial zoning to about 2 acres adjoining 18 acres Lamendola owns on Orice Roth Road.

The property is zoned C-2, a commercial zoning that includes both retail and office/warehouse-type businesses.

Lamendola also plans to donate about 41 remaining acres of his property on Orice Roth Road to the city, said Kenny Lambert, speaking as the agent for Lamendola.

City Clerk Clay Stafford said after the meeting that a good potential use of the property in the future would be for a park to serve nearby subdivisions.

Follow Ellyn Couvillion on Twitter, @EllynCouvillion.