Letter to the Editor – Concerned Citizens Against Locating the Glendale Subdivision on St. Maurice Lane

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Dear Editor:

On Monday, September 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm the Mayor and City Council Members will hear the appeal of Developer, David Strange of Rowanoak Development, LLC of Jackson, MS. Mr. Strange wants to construct the Glendale Subdivision and Community Center on St. Maurice Lane. The proposed subdivision shows 36 lots each 60 feet wide. Other LOCAL LANDOWNERS and DEVELOPERS have in the past presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission various housing developments on St. Maurice Lane. ALL Previous applicants were denied for the same reasons the Glendale Subdivision was UNANAMOUSLY denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission at the meeting on August 10, 2021.

We have over 800 signatures in opposition to this development which does not include emails and phone calls to Council Members. The Citizens DO NOT want this project at the proposed location due to all of the reasons below. The Citizens hope that the Mayor and City Council will honor the REQUEST FOR DENIAL and the UNANIMOUS DENIAL VOTE by the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

We have identified for the developer several other suitable locations for this development. One owned by the City and one owned by the Natchitoches Parish Housing Authority where he typically places these developments. We are not against the development. We are against it being located on St. Maurice Lane.

These houses are being financed by Federal Tax Credits, YOUR TAX DOLLARS. All of the houses will be Rentals for a period of 45 years with one year leases. The Character of Development is exclusively Rentals which is NOT the Character of Development in THIS area of our City.

The narrow and substandard condition of St. Maurice Lane as well as the poorly kept open ditches adds to the terrible drainage problem in the entire area extending all the way to and including Chinquapin Village. Heavy rainfall causes several homeowners to secure sand bags to keep water from entering their homes. This area IS NOT in a FEMA Declared Flood Zone.

Another major concern is the proposed development will have two Detention Ponds which pose multiple potential safety hazards including drowning, exposure to contaminated water, mosquito transmitted diseases and increase of snakes and rodents The location of detention ponds to parks and schools leads the public to think it is an amenity rather than a device for water management. Exposure to contaminated water is associated with several common illnesses. The Developer said the Detention Ponds WOULD NOT be fenced but that the subdivision would be fenced. This is a potential danger. If there wasn’t a drainage problem why would the Developer propose detention ponds with a combined  capacity of 30,000 gallons of rainwater?

This article published in the Sept. 9, 2021, print edition

At the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting on August 10, 2021, Former Fire Chief Dennie Boyt offered that in the event of another call, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles could become trapped and unable to get out with the limited access of this One Way In and One Way Out proposed subdivision. This would involve Fire Protection, Police Protection and Medical Emergency personnel.  This could be devastating.

One only needs to ride down St. Maurice Lane to Blanchard Road and experience the narrow speedway and view the poorly kept condition of the open ditches along the way. And WHY would the City approve the Glendale Subdivision NOW WHEN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAS CHANGED on St. Maurice Lane in 50 years. St. Maurice Lane is probably the most dangerous street in Natchitoches and will only worsen when Blanchard Road is eventually resurfaced.

Of additional concern is the increased Vehicle Congestion near three schools. Weaver Elementary, East Natchitoches and St. Mary’s are all located adjacent to this project. A minimum of 72+ cars will be entering and exiting the substandard street. The proposed Community Center parking near St. Maurice Lane will cause increased traffic flow problems entering and exiting the subdivision. Existing traffic throughout the day is a danger to area residents that must travel it to go anywhere. Two pickups with large side mirrors cannot safely pass each other. There are not sidewalks for pedestrians and they have been seen walking in the ditch. It is NOT SAFE to walk on the street. The traffic is unsafe for children,  many of which have to walk to school.

ALL Concerned Citizens PLEASE attend the City Council Meeting on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm at the Natchitoches City Council Chambers at 716 Second Street, Natchitoches, LA. (Across from City Bank)


Jack McCain, Jr.