Aviation Zoning District approved

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 8, 1999

HAHNVILLE – The St. Charles Parish Council, on the advice of its Planningand Zoning Commission, approved the establishment of an Aviation Zoning District.

The action sets up zoning criteria to provide that any property for aviation-connected use conform to this zoning district requirements, giving the parish a legal tool to head off any unwanted development.

Discussion on the topic attracted residents from St. Rose and Ama,directly in the path of a proposed north-south runway at New Orleans International Airport.

A similar turnout at the Dec. 2 Planning and Zoning Commission meetinghad the similar effect on the vote taken by that panel.

Nearly every speaker from the audience voiced their support, including Joanne Dubroc of St. Rose, who moved to St. Charles Parish after the 1982disaster when a 727 slammed into a Kenner neighborhood. “I had friendswho died in that. I don’t want to see that again. I’m not happy with this atall, and I work at the airport.”Likewise, Angela D’Ingianni asked the council “to consider those of us who came here for a better way of life.”On the other hand, Barney Ingram Sr. of Luling opposed the ordinance, andcommented, “It won’t work because of the existence of the east-west runway. I do not believe this will stand up in court the way it is written.”The zoning criteria covers airport terminals, food service, vehicle rental, bus stops, hotels, parking facilities, fences, interior airport roads, warehouses, fire facilities and offices.

Certain uses will require a special-use permit, including taxiways, runways, rail terminals, hangars, fuel storage, hazardous material storage and electrical plants.

During council discussion, “Ram” Ramchandran declared he was “deadly opposed” to any airport expansion into the parish and added of that notion, “This dog won’t hunt,” spurring an outbreak of applause.

Councilman Barry Minnich added, “It’s a no-brainer. It’s something thatneeds to pass.”Similarly, Councilman Brian Champagne said, “We’ve learned some hard lessons, and it’s time to move forward. They should spend money on thesearch for a new regional airport site.”The matter was approved in a 6-0 vote, with Councilmen Dickie Duhe, Curtis Johnson Sr. and Bill Sirmon absent.

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