The Zachary City Council has approved a plan to provide more office space for the city’s clerk of court and prosecutor’s office.
The City Council approved a request by Judge Lonny Myles on April 28 to add office space, which will solve another concern of Myles.
“The Clerk of Court keeps all the files, and this is not the norm,” Myles said. “It’s time to have a separate prosecutor’s office. There is a lot of sensitive information about cases and private information that should not be part of the public files of the clerk’s office.”
The court handles all civil, criminal and traffic cases for Zachary.
From 1986 until 2014, the work volume has tripled, Myles said.
“We’re doing three times the volume of work with two times the amount of people,” Myles said.
Myles’ plans call for a new office, which is estimated to cost $31,000. A new computer software system for $27,600 would be compatible with other prosecutor systems statewide and have the ability to link electronic citations issued by Zachary police officers if the department ever decided to go the paperless route, Myles said.
“We’ve already paid two installments on this system ,” Myles said.
Other office and computer equipment in the amount of $10,600 is needed for the project, which was approved by the council.
In other council news, Mayor David Amrhein issued a warning to all those who wished to speak on planning and zoning matters requiring a public hearing to keep their time at the microphone under three minutes.
“Sorry, this is not personal, but when your time is up, I’ll do this,” Amrhein said, banging the gavel. “We have a lot of requests to speak tonight and want everyone to be heard.”
PLANNING: After hearing from several residents and debating density calculations, the council approved the site plan for developer Ross Bruce’s eighth filing of Tract GC 2A1 in the Copper Mill subdivision.
Density is a measurement of the number of dwelling units on a site in relation to its size, and maximum and minimum density standards must be met when land is divided to create additional lots or parcels, according to Zachary’s Unified Development Code.
At the crux of the debate was the final figure calculated by several engineers, which contradicted the number totaled by residents, also members of the Homeowners Association.
One Copper Mill resident tackled the issue of the opposing calculations, saying Bruce figured in green space and ponds that were not to be included, while another said the filing would be near an intersection inside a blind curve where his children rode their bicycles.
“The topic of lot density has been brought up three times; there is no way two people can be off,” Councilwoman Laura O’Brien said. “I suggest all respective parties get in one room and add the same numbers together.”
Just as O’Brien’s suggestion looked like it would be decided upon, a resident asked that the numbers be calculated again but during the meeting.
Using a complicated mathematical equation and following the section of the UDC on density, the numbers were confirmed by two engineers, both of whom generated the same results.
The council voted unanimously to approve the site plan with Nezianya abstaining because of an investment property in the neighborhood.
ZONING: Commercial real estate agent Randy Herring, of Mike Falgoust & Associates, spoke on behalf of his client, Big Red Storage, who hoped a site plan review for its $4 million facility on Old Scenic Highway would be approved.
The same site was denied for a Dollar General store in November and had residents urging council members to consider the potential traffic hazards if the company was allowed to rezone the parcel from commercial suburban to commercial general.
Councilman Brandon Noel pointed out that the problem with the Dollar General building was strictly a traffic issue.
“This is way more acceptable from a traffic standpoint,” Noel said. “The zoning was meant for this type of storage facility.”
Herring said there would be minimal vehicles coming to the facility, and the three sides of the building facing the public would be built in brick.
Councilman Francis Nezianya said he approved of the company’s current storage facility on La. 19 in Zachary, adding, “It’s nice.”
There were no requests to speak against the matter, and the council approved both the site plan and the rezone.
The Zachary City Council will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.