ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish Council has amended the parish zoning ordinance to allow recreational vehicle parks in a stand-alone category.
Before the change, the ordinance allowed RV parks in a catch-all category, S-1, but a property owner who obtained that special-use zoning classification was not bound by law to use it for that purpose, Planning and Zoning Commission member Allen Kirkpatrick told the council on Monday.
The owner could use the property for a variety of uses allowed under S-1, he said.
The council recently turned down an RV park for a tract on U.S. 61 at La. 964, citing the broad outlines of S-1 zoning as one of several reasons for denying the request.
At the suggestion of RV traveler Sammy Bougeus, the council added some amenities allowed in RV parks to make them attractive to the visiting public.
These include allowing them to sell bottled gas, operate small convenience stores, offer kennels for campers' dogs, operate outdoor amusement and entertainment facilities, such as swimming pools, have self-service laundries and have as much as 20 percent of the park available to guests who might stay for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
Bougeus said nearly all RV parks have some campers who may be working in the area on plant outages or pipeline construction and maintenance.
On another matter, the council amended its agenda to allow parish Fire Chief Walter Oliveaux to discuss his proposal to have the fire district buy fire hydrants for installation during a major water system improvements project the council approved with a federal loan and grant.
Oliveaux asked that the parish include installing the hydrants at locations picked by the fire district in the specifications for the construction contract. However, Council President Bill May cut off Oliveaux's presentation after he spoke for three minutes, and the council did not address the request.
Parish President Kenny Havard said after the meeting that installing the hydrants will be included in the contract specifications.
Havard also said the proposed $9 million project will have to be reduced in scope because the administration of former parish President Kevin Couhig over-estimated the amount of revenue that will be available to repay the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan.
The council took no action on a request by Lula London and George Turner to support forming a committee to explore the feasibility of placing an art and cultural center in the Independence area.
Turner said the West Feliciana Voters League property and two lots owned by him and London, respectively, are possible locations, but Councilwoman Sydney Walker said the council cannot get involved in deciding how private property is used.
Voters League officer Jesse Gilmore said London, Turner and parish Councilman John C. Thompson formed a competing organization three years ago, but he said he does not believe the council, London or Turner have any authority over the Voters League site.
Gilmore said the organization that owns the property was formed in 1966.