PORT ALLEN - The West Baton Rouge Parish Council on Thursday denied a rezoning request sought by a rental property owner asking for a change to parish zoning laws regarding adult businesses.
Cletus Langlois, of Patin Engineers and Surveyors, representing Mandeville Rental Properties LLC, initially asked the council to rezone two tracts measuring half an acre along the Interstate 10 frontage road in Port Allen to house an adult business.
The two tracts are zoned as regional-scaled commercial, Langlois said.
The request made to the council asked to change the zoning to heavy industrial, with a special use permit.
However, during the meeting, Langlois asked the council to table the measure, so he could bring it back for consideration under the proposed new commercial zoning designation.
“Right now, anything that’s dealing with adult entertainment is only allowed in an I-3 zone,” Langlois said. “It takes a minimum of 20 acres for an I-3 zone, and five acres for an I-2.”
“A variance request that size is not a variance,” Council Chairman Gary Spillman said. “That’s just doing away with the law.”
Langlois said zoning the area as industrial could allow it to be used at a later time to store chemicals or other industrial materials.
“We were pretty scared when we saw that,” he said.
Langlois said that since a variance to rezone the small property may not be legal, he requested a new C-1.4 commercial designation be created to cover adult businesses.
Spillman said he felt the land could be zoned under the parish’s current C-1.3 zoning, if a special use permit were also granted.
Parish Public Works and Planning Director Kevin Durbin said the council must deny the original offered motion, because parish law does not allow revisions to submitted rezoning requests.
“If you deny it, he can then bring the matter back before you at a later date as a new request,” he said.
Durbin said it would take two-plus months to research the matter and then publicly advertise the proposed change, then another month for the issue to go before the council for a decision.
Councilman Jeff “Petit” Kershaw reminded Langlois that if such a change is brought before the council, it may not pass.
“I understand that,” Langlois said. “I’m at your mercy.”