GONZALES — A split Ascension Parish Zoning Commission on Wednesday recommended denial of a zoning change to clear the way for a planned tennis club off Perkins Road.

About a dozen neighbors voiced worries about traffic, noise, late-night lighting and the future use of the site.

Commission Chairman Michael Marchand was forced to cast a tiebreaking fifth vote recommending denial after others on the nine-member commission split 4-4. He does not vote unless to break ties.

The Parish Council still must consider the proposed change.

Applicant Rein Rod LLC is seeking to change the zoning from medium intensity residential to mixed use, which allows a number of commercial uses and high-density housing in addition to a tennis club.

As proposed, the 12-court operation with clubhouse and restaurant serving alcohol would be located on a wooded, 34-acre tract along Bayou Manchac. It would sit behind or next to Perkins Oaks and Belle Grove subdivisions, maps show.

Rein Rod would also replace an old sewage treatment lagoon on the site with a new package plant to serve Perkins Oaks, project engineer Brian Aguillard said.

Randall Dornier Jr., a Rein Rod owner, said the project would not have apartments, townhouses or other housing. He made the statement in answer to a question by Commissioner Milton Clouatre.

Dornier also promised he is seeking direct access from Airline Highway, and would not rely on neighborhood roads.

But residents and commissioners said they were worried about the lack of a guarantee that a rezoned site would remain a tennis club should the business fail or that Dornier’s promises not to use neighborhood roads would always hold true.

Those voting to recommend denial, in addition to Marchand, were Commissioners Daniel Satterlee, Milton Clouatre, Howard Dalton and Susana Zarazua-Gradine.

Those voting against denial were Commissioners Stephen Barrow, Julio Dumas, Robert Nance and J. B. Esnard.