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St. Charles Parish Council tables freeze on subdivision construction ahead of drainage plans

HAHNVILLE – The St. Charles Parish Council voted Monday night to table a temporary moratorium on major subdivisions introduced by Parish President Matthew Jewell during the June 15 Council meeting.

The Parish Council, however, did approve an ordinance authorizing the execution of an engineer to provide all necessary services for a master drainage plan.

The decision came only one day after many homes in the parish were flooded for the second time in a two-month span. Several homeowners were frustrated at no longer being able to afford flood insurance and not having the funds to elevate their homes after flooding three times in the past 19 months.

The Council opted to have the discussion on Jewell’s moratorium moved to the Planning and Zoning Commission. If approved, the moratorium would be in effect for 18 months or until the parish-wide drainage and sewerage master plans are complete.

“Recent flooding has made it clear that it is time for St. Charles Parish to have a systematic master plan that allows new homes to be developed in a way that does not hinder the quality of life for current residents and homeowners,” Jewell said earlier this month. “For far too long, we have simply added new developments and put additional burden on existing infrastructure without improving the conveyance canals and culverts that deliver water to our pump stations.”

President Jewell continued, “Temporarily halting the addition of new subdivisions will allow Public Works to develop a plan that takes the needs of the entire parish into account while also planning for future growth.”

During the duration of the moratorium, the Department of Public Works would continue to work on projects that are in progress or have been designated as essential projects for sewerage and drainage improvements.

“We need to do things differently and take a holistic approach to solve these problems if we want to get better results, and I am asking for the council’s support on these initiatives,” Jewell said.