October 20, 2017

OCTOBER  25, 2017

Councilmembers, Dwight Hudson and Erika Green, introduced an ordinance, proposing substantial changes to the Unified Development Code ("UDC") Chapter 15 Floodplains and Drainage. There will be a public hearing at 4:00PM, October 25, 2017.  

Baton Rouge Growth Coalition sponsored a meeting of design professionals to seek a complete understanding of the effect of the proposed changes. While there were differing opinions of the advisability of the proposed changes, there was no question that the current language needs revisions. The language of the proposed ordinance requires additional clarifications.  Without those clarifications, there is simply too much discretion and lack of direction. 

The Baton Rouge Growth Coalition (BRGC) requests that certain language be amended for clarity purposes, and further requests that certain portions be deleted until there is a clear understanding of the intended and unintended consequences of this proposal. A link to our revised draft of the ordinance is found below.

BRGC opposes the requirement that increases the existing flood volume storage capacity below the base flood elevation established for the site by at least ten percent. We are unaware of any jurisdiction in Louisiana imposing this requirement. This could result in substantial additional costs to a project. Baker, Zachary and Central are not subject to these proposed changes. Further, Ascension and Livingston have no such rule, which will result in development moving away from East Baton Rouge to those jurisdictions. The design professionals pointed out that it would take decades in order to accumulate sufficient capacities to make even a one or two-inch difference. Also, there are concerns that commercial development could simply not comply with these requirements.

See the link to the BRGC draft changes to the ordinance. A link outlining suggested changes and talking points are found below.

Also, below is a list of council members and contact information.  Please make your voice heard!  Please email all the council members your opposition to the current proposal and request that they consider the BRGC revisions.

Larry S. Bankston
Executive Director