Lafayette Parish voters on Saturday approved a change to the city-parish's governing charter that divides the council into a city council and a parish council.

The charter amendment passed, 53 percent to 47 percent.

Boosters of the proposal had argued that the City of Lafayette needs to regain the autonomy it lost in 1996 when it consolidated with parish government.

The Lafayette City Council dissolved with consolidation, giving way to a nine-member City-Parish Council. That body covers all of Lafayette Parish, including five other municipalities with their own city councils.

The set up effectively allowed residents of other cities a say in what happens with the Lafayette Police Department, critical assets like the old federal courthouse and the city’s utility system and fiber network.