The St. Tammany Parish Zoning Commission unanimously approved rezoning requests on May 7 that will allow the expansion of a planned unit development off of La. 59, north of Mandeville, as well as the establishment of a polo complex and conservation area on Military Road, south of Slidell.

Commissioners approved a pair of requests by Albert J. Vallon’s De Val, Inc., to rezone and add 28.9 acres to its Cotton Creek planned unit development, located west of La. 59, south of Dove Park Road and Campbell Avenue near Mandeville. The rezoning from A-1 Suburban District to A-4 Single-Family Residential District will allow 85 homes to be added to the PUD, bringing the total to 168 homesites on 70.9 acres.

The request was questioned by several speakers.

Robert Troncoso, representing the residents of Lochmere subdivision, said that the additional homes would add to the volume of water draining through Little Creek, which runs through Lochmere and has backed up during periods of heavy rains, he said.

Ken Ress, who lives in the Audubon Lakes subdivision, echoed Troncoso’s remarks, but said he was more concerned about the zoning change, which would allow the density to be increased from one homesite per five acres under A-1, to four homesites per acre under A-4.

Noting the La. 59 was already severely congested, Ress said, “We seem to be developing faster than the road system can handle it.”

Responding to the comments, the developer’s attorney, Paul Mayronne, said that drainage and traffic issues would be addressed during the planning stages of the PUD, and that A-4 zoning was “consistent and compatible” with zoning in the surrounding area.

After 40 minutes of discussion, commissioners approved the requests by a 10-0 vote. Commissioner Bernie Willie was absent.

Commissioners quickly approved a request by Gran and Billie Semmes through Garrett Field, LLC, to rezone 121 acres on the west side of Military Road, north of U.S. 190 East, south of Slidell, to allow the establishment of a polo complex and conservation area.

The development, all of which will be covered by a Rural Overlay, will include 63.89 acres zoned PF-2 Public Facilities, 27.58 acres zoned CBF-1 Community Based Facilities, 15.74 acres zoned NC-3 Lodging, and 14.22 acres zoned NC-5 Retail and Service districts.

With no opposition, commissioners approved the request after complimenting the Semmeses on the concept.

In other matters, commissioners denied a request by St. Genevieve Catholic Church to rezone 1.65 acres on the east side of St. Genevieve Lane, north of Bayou Liberty Road, west of Slidell, from A-2 Suburban District to PF-1 Public Facilities District.

Representing St. Genevieve, Dan Hagerty said the church had purchased the land several years ago so it could build a meeting area and classrooms on it, but commissioners denied the request after a number of nearby residents said the proposed use was not in keeping with the surrounding residential area.

Commissioners also denied a request by Laura Rolling Guidry to rezone her former homesite on the south side of La. 36, west of East Third Street, east of Covington, from A-4A Single Family Residential District to NC-1 Professional Office District.

Guidry said she wanted the rezoning to improve her chances of selling the 8,045-square-foot lot, but commissioners denied the request after noting that the area was undergoing a residential revitalization.