CONVENT - The St. James Parish Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee fell one member short of a quorum Monday, leaving the panel unable to vote on whether to present the final comprehensive draft plan to the parish Planning Commission next month.

Only nine members of the 19-member committee attended Monday’s meeting at the Romeville Recreation Park in Convent.

After the committee discussed a few additions to the draft plan, Committee Chairman Blaise Gravois said the panel needed 10 members to reach a quorum, or majority, and vote.

Gravois rescheduled the meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, June 20, at the parish courthouse in Vacherie. He announced he would contact each member of the committee beforehand to ensure a quorum would be present.

Gravois said the only item on the meeting agenda would be a vote on the comprehensive draft plan.

The plan, if approved by the committee, would be presented to the parish Planning Commission July 6 at the parish courthouse in Convent, Gravois said.

After conducting a series of public hearings, the Planning Commission then has the option of sending the master plan to the Parish Council for a final vote, said Gravois.

The steering committee has met during the past 18 months to prepare the draft plan, a guiding blueprint designed to direct the parish’s growth for the next 20 years. The plan is based partially on comments and input gathered during public hearings.

Steering committee members raised questions Monday about why certain sections of parish land were labeled in the plan as commercial or agricultural.

Kevin Belanger, CEO of the South Central Planning and Development Commission, a Houma company hired by the parish to provide technical support for creation of the comprehensive plan, replied the areas were labeled for “conceptual purposes” and reflect how parish residents want the land to develop in the future.

The large swaths of land on the draft plan map are not meant to be controlled by future zoning laws, Belanger said. Gravois added it is not the steering committee’s job to deal with zoning issues.