Recent articles in The Advocate have only scratched the surface on rezoning in Jefferson Parish.

One hundred and twenty-one property owners signed a petition to the Jefferson Parish Council against the rezoning in District 5, Shrewsbury Subdivision, Square 13 of 4 lots from R-1A Single Family Residential District to 8 lots R-1TH Townhouse District, protest rezoning for a number of reasons:

1. These eight lots will have various widths. Six will range from 22.75 feet to 29.08 feet wide. Only two will be 44.08 feet wide. All will be narrower than all other lots in the area.

2. Code for front yard setbacks for all residences and townhouses is 20 fee, and seven townhouses will have a second-floor balcony which must comply with the setback. The design has setback at 8 feet and 10 feet (versus 20 feet) and the balconies will only be set back 4.5 feet and 6.5 feet; therefore the front yard setback deficiency ranges from 15.5 feet to 10 feet.

3. Code requires a rear driveway of 25 feet wide, the proposed driveway will only be 22.67 feet. Variance has been granted by the Planning Department. without any input from neighbor homeowners. The Planning Advisory Board approved rezoning after hearing homeowners express their opposition.

4. Planning Dept. Report stated:

a. “The proposed subdivision for townhouses does not comply to code without the extraordinary waivers of setback to less than 20 ft., nor with the symmetry of other squares (blocks) in the neighborhood.” So why do it?

b. “The proposed subdivision (rezoning) does not comply with all criteria because of the front yard setback deficiency.” Plus, “proposed subdivision does not comply with all the criteria for subdivision waivers.” So why do it?

5. The development is not in symmetry with adjacent squares west of North Hullen and from West Esplanade to the lake.

6. Traffic on Sixth Street is very heavy four times per day by those going to and from work and lunch at Lakeway. The proposed narrower than code one-way drive exiting on to Sixth Street will add to traffic congestion.

7. Sixth and Seventh Streets already flood with consistent rain. Rezoning the 4 lots to 8 potentially will increase drainage problems on surrounding streets. Almost the entire rezoned lots will be impervious. Thus, rain water will not be allowed into the ground.

8. Rezoning from 4 R-1A residences to 8 R-1TH townhouses will double the density of the lots and the entire square 13.

9. Increased traffic, no off-street parking for guests, mounting drainage problems and doubling the density will produce a safety problem for all local residents and their guests.

The Planning Department and Advisory Board should review rezoning before the next Parish Council meeting.

Charles Heim

nonprofit consultant