Amid a packed house, local attorney Jared Dunahoe (standing at podium) speaks on behalf of Rhodes Properties and Development, LLC during the Jan. 27 Natchitoches City Council meeting.
Story and photo by staff reporter Nora Drenner
In a split decision, the Natchitoches City Council rejected an appeal by Rhodes Properties and Development, LLC concerning their application to build the St. Maurice Subdivision. Such action took place during the council’s regular meeting on Jan. 27.
District Three Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow was the lone vote against denying the appeal. Councilmen Don Mims Jr, Eddie Harrington, Dale Nielson and Lawrence Bastite voted to uphold the planning and zoning commission’s previous decision to deny the application.
Speaking on behalf of Rhodes was local attorney Jared Dunahoe, who cited his clients had gone back to the drawing board to bring everything into compliance with planning and zoning and city ordinances.
Dunahoe also noted that the application on the table is the preliminary plat stage and meets all the standards of city ordinances at this stage. “They have followed the rules,” said Dunahoe, “and should be allowed to continue with the project.” Dunahoe additionally noted that according to city ordinances regarding subdivisions, approval of a preliminary plan is a tentative approval only and does not constitute final approval.
Property owners in the neighborhood who attended the meeting to speak against the proposed subdivisioncited the small size of the proposed lots, increased traffic, decreasing property values, surging drainage problems, and the reliability of the developers.
Around the Town later learned Rhodes Properties and Development, LLC is taking the next step in the appeal process – District Court.
In other business during the Jan. 27 meeting, the council:
–APPROVED a zoning change for 1504 Gold Street to operate Save the Children Head Start.
–SAID YES to a zoning change at 219 Williams Ave to operate a bed & breakfast.
–AUTHORIZED the city to lease a portion of a building at 200 Rapides Dr to Youth & Families Empowerment Services, LLC.
–GAVE THE NOD to purchase a hanger located at the Natchitoches Regional Airport from Harold G. Foster and Laurie M. Berry for a sum of $13,000.
—AGREED to purchase a tract of land on the western right of way of Sixth Street from Eagle Distributing in Shreveport for a sum of $400,000.
–AMENDED the 2019-2020 budget to correct a clerical error.
–ADOPTED a resolution to execute a certificate of substantial completion for the contract between the city and Ratcliff Construction Company for the Natchitoches Sports & Recreation Park.
–APPROVED a resolution to enter a contract with Travelors Casualty and Surety Company of America for the public official schedule bond for the city. The bond premium is $3,497.00.
–INRODUCED an ordinance regarding the awarding of the bid for replacement of the roof at the Natchitoches Event Center. Noted was three bids were received with the committee recommending awarding the bid to the lowest bidder.
—ANNOUNCED an ordinance regarding the advertising of an airport hanger lease.