The St. Tammany Parish Zoning Commission cleared the way for a nursing home to be built at the corner of La. 59 and Lonesome Road in Mandeville at its Nov. 7 meeting.
Attorney Paul Mayronne, representing Heritage Manor LLC, asked the commission to rezone 22.45 acres from NC-4 Neighborhood Institutional District to MD-2 Medical Clinic District so Heritage could build a facility in which every room would be designed for single occupancy.
Mayronne said that single rooms are becoming the industry standard, and told the panel that the new facility would replace one Heritage operates near the intersection of West Causeway Approach and La. 22, because that facility could not be converted to single occupancy.
Mayronne also asked that an adjacent 2.4 acres fronting La. 59 be rezoned to NC-6 Public, Cultural and Recreational District.
Commissioners unanimously approved both requests, despite opposition from members of the Lonesome Road Coalition, who expressed concerns about drainage and traffic. Mayronne said, and commissioners confirmed, that those issues would be addressed during the permitting process.
In a similar request, Mayronne asked that 10.71 acres adjacent to Forest Manor Nursing Home on Ochsner Boulevard south of Covington be rezoned to MD-2 so that Forest Manor could convert all of its units to single occupancy. That request also was approved unanimously.
In other business, commissioners unanimously denied two requests to convert residential property to commercial use.
In the first case, attorney Jeff Schoen, representing Manuel and Suzanne Estrada, asked for the conversion of two acres on La. 22 west of Madisonville from A-2 Suburban District to NC-4 Neighborhood Institutional District so the Estradas could open a day care facility.
Schoen said residents of the area, which has undergone explosive residential growth in recent years, needed convenient access to services like the one the Estradas would provide.
But several residents of the Timberlane subdivision directly across the busy highway said that the parcel, which fronts directly on La. 22, was a dangerous place to put a facility where young children would be dropped off and picked up during peak traffic periods.
With little discussion, commissioners agreed with the opponents and denied the request.
Commissioners also denied a request by Wayne Porter and Nora Steele to rezone 2.89 acres on Mire Drive west of La. 59 south of Abita Springs from A-2 to NC-1 Professional Office District.
Charlie Clark, representing nearby residents, recited the long history of their efforts to preserve the neighborhood’s residential character in the face of continued commercial development along the nearby highway.
Commissioners decided to leave the residential zoning in place.