On Monday, a 3-2 vote from Gonzales City Council approved the preliminary flat of 28 lots of Chapelwood Estates in settlement of the lawsuit brought by attorney (and Chairman of the Ascension Parish Planning Commission), Matthew Pryor on behalf of the developer, AP Gonzales, LLC. Denied by a 3-1 vote from the same body on March 22, which followed an earlier recommendation from the city’s planning commission, a majority of three members followed Mayor Barney Arceneaux’s lead in approving the plan. of platform and drainage last night.
The proposed development is located just north of Gonzales Middle School, between W Worthey Street and Orice Roth.
Five months ago, the vote was 3-1 to reject the dish with City Councilors Tim Riley, Tyler Turner and Harold Stewart in the majority against the only positive vote cast by City Councilor Johnny Berthelot (City Councilor Kirk Boudreaux abstained). On Monday, it was Stewart who voted with Berthelot, joined by Boudreaux, whose March conflict of interest had to be clarified, allowing him to join the majority by approving Chapelwood Estates.
Berthelot’s tough sell ignored as three board members deny Chapelwood Estates dish
The decision also followed legal advice offered by Brad Myers, the city’s external defense attorney, who found that Chapelwood Estates‘Flat has complied with all zoning laws and subdivision bylaws and has received approval from the city’s permit department. There was also a letter dated December 7, 2020 from Ascension Parish Technical Review Officer Shaun Sherrow verifying that “the Drainage Impact Assessment is substantially in accordance with the requirements of the Drainage Ordinance. the drainage of the parish of Ascension ”.
Under an agreement between the town of Gonzales and the Ascension East Drainage District, the latter is responsible for approving the drainage studies submitted with developments within the town. Initially, development aimed to rezone the site to allow 39 batches, but was refused at the end of 2020. The 28-batch version was therefore introduced, keeping the drainage impact study for the 39-batch version. .
“The risk in this litigation is substantial,” said Brad Myers. “AP Gonzales has agreed to dismiss his action if council approves the drainage plan and the preliminary platform.”
Myers looked a lot like the opposing council, Matthew Pryor, who represented the developer against the City of Gonzales. Pryor, who chairs the Ascension Parish Planning Commission, made the same argument to justify his support for the many preliminary subdivision projects considered by the parish commission over the years.
Pryor confirmed his client’s intention, checking his counterpart’s version of the settlement negotiations. But the decision is not up to lawyers.
Without discussion, city councilor Berthelot proposed to approve Chapelwood Estates and he had the voices to back it up.