ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish Council refused to set a time limit Monday for a moratorium on large-scale residential developments that has been in effect since August.
Councilman Melvin Young could not get a second to his motion to end the moratorium on June 30, with parish President Kenny Havard asking the five-member council not to tie his hands as he works with his staff to update the parish’s land development ordinances.
Havard said a possible increase in residential fire insurance rates adds emphasis to the parish’s effort to control residential growth to avoid overwhelming parish infrastructure, including the water system.
Young had suggested a March 31 time limit last month but was unable to attend the December meeting. On Monday, he amended his request to make it June 30.
Noting nothing has been proposed to amend the subdivision regulations, Young said, “People have a right to know when it will end.”
Havard advised the council not to set a time limit, saying he hopes to have something ready by the end of summer or in the fall for the council, Planning and Zoning Commission and residents to consider.
A “sunset” clause in the ordinance “would force us to not do it correctly,” Havard said.
Later, Young also could not get a second from his four colleagues to adopt a resolution of support for groups seeking federal funds to develop “affordable housing” in the parish.
The resolution has been requested by George Turner, who has been involved in a project to develop a subdivision with federal housing funds.
Havard said the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana has given the parish six months to address shortcomings in the fire protection service offered through West Feliciana Parish Fire Protection District 1 and the parish government’s water system.
Otherwise, the rating agency will drop the parish’s fire insurance rating from Class 4 to Class 5. Class 1 is the best rating, while Class 10 is the worst.
Havard said the deficiencies include shortcomings with the fire district’s communications center, inadequate tests of fire hydrant flow rates and other problems.