A Year In Review...

D ear Members & Friends,

In 2015 the Growth Coalition quietly helped move the needle on several important issues in the development community, just some of which are detailed in this newsletter. The credit for this goes to our dedicated Board of Directors, our membership, and a host of public officials who understand the value of smart, effective growth in the Capital Region.  Thank you - you know who you are!

Finally, preparations are already underway for the 2016 Good Growth Awards Gala on October 13th - make sure your calendar is marked! Contact us about getting involved now!

Thank you all for a successful 2015,

Larry S. Bankston
Executive Director

Duke Weighs In on Hot Highland Road Rezoning Issue

In early November news was released that a  small  group of property owners  would request a study of a blanket rezoning for an area of Highland Road between Siegen Lane, Pecue Lane and I-10 from "Rural" to "REA1" via the Metro Council. The change would allow for only 1 home per acre as a means to stave off higher density developments in the future. 

The Metro Council delayed movement on the issue at their November 11th meeting, citing a need for more information from the Planning Commission.

Last week Planning Director Frank Duke released his study of the issue, which ultimately concluded that no rezoning should be considered without the expressed consent of all property owners in the designated area.

Business Report article on the issue and Duke's position can be read 

Read Duke's entire November 20th report to the Metro Council  here.

Third-Party Option for Speedier Plan  Review  & Inspection at DPW

Carey Chauvin, DPW's Director of Development, confirms that a professional services contract is currently being developed to allow certain third-party organizations to provide plan review and inspection services. This option should be  available  to builders, developers and real estate professionals in the near future  and is intended to speed turnaround for lagging permitting and review processes.

This is the most recent development in a multi-year cooperative effort between the Growth Coalition, DPW officials, and Metro Councilmember Ryan Heck who sponsored a successful ordinance in 2014 allowing for third-party providers to supplement DPW staff for plan review and inspections.

Read the most recent Business Report article, "Baton Rouge development community looking for solutions to chronic delays on permits, inspections," 

Photo credit: Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
Three Seats Change on Planning & Zoning Commission

Architect J. Clifford Grout, III , has been appointed by th e City-Parish  to take over Laurie Marien's Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) seat, which she will be vacating at the end of the year. Grout is the Owner & Chief Architect at ARCHON LLC.

In addition, the Growth Coalition worked with the Metro Council to vet candidates for the Council's two appointed PZC seats . The two candidates selected for these were  Todd Sterling, Owner at Alpha Media and Public Relations, and April Hawthorne, Legislative  Assistant for Senate District 15. Hawthorne will replace Sarah Holliday-James. Sterling took over a vacant seat in August of this year.

Work With FUTUREBR Implementation Team Continues

The Growth Coalition was involved in several meetings and discussions in 2015 regarding the ongoing implementation of the FUTUREBR Comprehensive Master Plan. Growth Coalition members and Board members, were able and willing to review and comment on proposed Unified Development Code (UDC) changes needed to make FUTUREBR a reality, such as requirements for landscaping and parking. 

The work continues, and the Growth Coalition looks forward to this ongoing progress. Special thanks go to Planning Director Frank Duke, the Planning Commission staff, and the FUTUREBR Implementation Team led by Fregonese Associates, who have been committed to careful consideration of the entire EBR community's concerns and desires for a great future.

2016 Good Growth Awards Date Announced

Mark your calendars for 10.13.16! Interested in partnering with one of the most anticipated events of 2016? Contact Sage Foley now!

"The FED" Featured at 2015 Signature Speaker Series 

Thanks again to our sponsors for this year's Signature Speaker Series held in May featuring Dr. David Altig, VP of Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. This great event also resulted in a roundtable discussion this summer on current economic development conditions with members of the Growth Coalition Board and the New Orleans office of the Atlanta Fed.

BRGC Welcomes Three New Members

The Growth Coalition welcomes three new members in the fourth quarter of 2015:
Tanner Law Firm/Paramount Title

Other new members joining Growth Coalition in 2015 include:

Centerline Engineering & Land Surveying
GHD (formerly Conestoga-Rovers & Associates)
Grey Mullins Property Management
Home Bank
Louisiana Land Engineering
Sperry Van Ness | Graham, Langlois & Legendre
Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp

There is power in numbers - thank you for joining our ranks! 

Interested in Growth Coalition Membership? 
Contact Sage Foley  here.