CLINTON — Another East Feliciana Parish Police Jury meeting erupted into a shouting match Monday over the rules for subdividing property in the parish.
Land surveyors Jeff and Skip Moody, along with Skip Moody’s son Lamon, berated Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Richard Howell and, at times, some jurors over disputed property survey maps.
The Moodys contend the commission does not have the right, under the parish subdivision ordinance, to approve or deny subdivisions that fall under four of nine exceptions to the full regulations in the ordinance.
Howell, however, contends the commission must review the subdivision plats to be certain one or more of the exceptions apply to the property divisions the maps depict.
Jeff Moody said neither the parish ordinance nor state law require the commission to act, but Howell said state law requires the commission to review them.
The jury recently sent two land subdivisions back to the planning commission for review, but Howell said the commission voted to deny approval because Jeff Moody did not put signature boxes on the surveys for the commission chairman to sign.
“You don’t have to sign anything to recommend approval,” Skip Moody said.
Without a place on the map for a commission member to sign, third parties viewing the plats would not know the commission approved them, Howell contends.
“This is getting asinine. Completely asinine,” Skip Moody said.
Asked why he could not add a signature box for the commission to signify its approval, Jeff Moody replied at the top of his voice, “Because they (the ordinances) don’t call for it.”
Jeff Moody, who later apologized for “losing my temper,” also said the jury could expect a lawsuit if it did not approve the plats.
“It’s not hard to put a (signature) line on a map,” Juror Chris Hall told the surveyors.
Hall also said leaving off signature lines for a commission representative amounted to “a poke” at the commission, with some members taking the slight personally.
The jury voted on a motion to approve the two plats, with Parish Manager John J. Rouchon announcing that it passed, 3-0, although four other jurors at the meeting table did not vote.
Jurors typically vote by a quick show of hands, and the outcome was not clear to some people in the audience.
The jury also voted unanimously to uphold the commission’s recommendation to deny a subdivision on Maglone Road in Slaughter for developer Jimmie Underwood.
The subdivision ordinance allows up to four lots that are served by a private servitude instead of a public street, but it limits a person or company to using the exception only once. Underwood has used it before, but other Maglone Road residents caught the oversight after the commission had voted earlier to approve the subdivision.
The jury sent it back to the commission, which voted last week to deny the application.
Jurors said a special committee that includes the Moodys is working on revisions to the subdivision ordinance.
Rouchon said the restriction likely will be removed, but jurors said the one-time limit is still on the books.