DONALDSONVILLE —By a 9-1 vote Thursday, the Ascension Parish Council approved a proposed zoning change for land along La. 44 near Houmas House Plantation and Gardens.
The move changes six neighboring lots from conservation and medium industry zoning to mixed-use corridors.
Before the vote, Councilman Daniel “Doc” Satterlee said he was troubled by how quickly the parish’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the item without discussion or public comment.
“If you go back and watch the meeting, the entire clip lasts 55 seconds,” he said.
Satterlee said the intended use for the land was not discussed and there was no sign adjacent owners were notified.
Satterlee, a member of the commission when the item came up for a vote in 2011, said plans at the time included a proposed riverboat overlook that would link Houmas House to the Mississippi riverfront.
“I’m not sure if those plans have changed or not,” he said.
Areas zoned as mixed use can allow everything from RV parks to car washes and other businesses, Satterlee said.
The project sparked controversy in 2011 amid claims by Houmas House owner Kevin Kelly of a “quid pro quo” scheme by two then-commissioners, Satterlee and Milton Clouatre Jr. They later were c leared of those allegations.
Satterlee offered a substitute motion to return the item to the planning and zoning commission for review. That motion failed by a 1-9 vote before the council voted to accept the zoning change. Council Chairman Randy Clouatre did not vote, as the chair man v otes only to break a tie.