Once again, a developer is coming into a residential neighborhood with no respect for EBR’s zoning restrictions. Once again, the residents are the last to know.

Once again, the developer seems to think it is his right to having the zoning changed. Once again, it is made difficult for the residents to “right” this change. One might conclude the “cards were stacked against” the private residents of EBR when it comes to relying on zoning restrictions.

I am writing you today about “Case 41 14 - 720 Sharp Road.” A developer has bought land within the Broadmoor neighborhood, which is zoned A-1. He now feels it’s within his rights to have this land’s zoning changed (perhaps the lack of zoning enforcement in EBR has given him this false notion?).

The residents of Broadmoor (and for that matter Sherwood Forest, Runnymead, Sharpstowe and St. Regis Place) relied on and made the decision to purchase their homes partly based on the zoning restrictions. For many, this is the biggest, most important purchase they will make, and less than reliable zoning restrictions is far from what they expected when they made the decision to purchase and make their homes in these neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods (and the rest of Baton Rouge) continue to be made unstable (which affects the property values) because of the continued ease for developers and others to change zoning restrictions.

Why is it that the majority of the citizens of EBR must obey the zoning restrictions while others think they don’t apply to them? Why is it this businessman bought this property in an A-1 zoned area with the express intention to change these restrictions? Did he have reason to believe that changing the zoning would not be a problem?

I certainly hope that is not the case. But I will say, this seems to happen a lot all over Baton Rouge, and it is not good for this city or its residents. Zoning restrictions are important! They need to be enforced.

It is my understanding that one of the Planning Commission’s jobs is to protect the citizens of EBR by enforcing these restrictions. I urge them to do so.

Marcelle DeSoto

paralegal

Baton Rouge