LAFAYETTE — The City-Parish Council on Tuesday approved a zoning change that opens the door for a new commercial development on Steiner Road between Kaliste Saloom Road and Settlers Trace Boulevard.
The council voted 5-4 to approve the measure, going against the wishes of several residents on Steiner Road who raised concerns about increased traffic and noise.
“We need to maintain the residential there. … We have plenty of commercial. There are empty offices all over the city,” said Steiner Road resident Reid Smith.
The council’s vote changes the zoning on a 4-1/2-acre tract along Steiner Road from single-family residential to business.
The area, which is at the edge of the River Ranch development, is bordered on one side by homes along Steiner Road and on the other by offices.
The developer of the property, Baton Rouge-based S.L. Shaw & Associates, is planning to put a mix of retail on the section of the property fronting Kaliste Saloom Road and offices on the back section, said S.L. Shaw Vice-President Phillip Manchester. He said an accounting firm and an oil and gas business are already considering locating in the office space.
Manchester estimated that the total project is valued at about $15 million.
Public comment on the project was split with eight people speaking in favor and eight speaking against it — who were mainly residents living directly across from the proposed development.
“Rezoning changes everything in our neighborhood. Our infrastructure is not designed for commercial traffic,” said resident Debra Hise. “… If this is changed to commercial, the neighborhood will change, too.”
City-parish planners had recommended approval of the rezoning, citing the intense commercial development in recent years in River Ranch and along Kaliste Saloom Road
“This area is changing and it seemed very appropriate to allow this limited transitional development,” said Jim Parker, of the Planning, Zoning and Codes Department.
Voting to approve the zoning change were council members Kenneth Boudreaux, Mary Morrison, Jay Castille, Brandon Shelvin and Sam Dore.
Voting against the rezoning were councilmen Jared Bellard, Don Bertrand, Keith Patin and William Theriot.