BOBBY eARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer
A month of occasionally contentious debate among representatives for a rural home developer and residents living alongside the proposed project ended Thursday night when the St. Landry Parish unanimously approved during a special meeting the construction of 20 homes on Sunflower Lane.
The proposed 10.35 acre, 20-single home subdivision off La. 104 west of Opelousas, was opposed by some residents already living on Sunflower Lane, who told council members and parish president Jessie Bellard that they are skeptical of the new development due to what they said are environmental and infrastructure concerns.
Appearing at three Council meetings since October, several Sunflower Lane residents addressed the Council about their perceived issues of low water pressure, vehicle-blocked streets, presumed deteriorating road conditions and increased flooding if the houses were built.
Sunflower Lane resident Melissa McGee added on Thursday night that additional residents on Sunflower Lane would bring more traffic on a road that she noted already has speeding vehicles.
On Thursday night the Council consented to allow owner and developer Nick Quirk to proceed with the project providing Quirk agrees to widening the driveways and setting back homes beyond a 20-foot parish requirement.
Council members concluded that increasing the width and depth of the driveways of the homes allows more room for vehicles to be parked on private property rather than on the Sunflower Lane roadway.
Dominique Naomi, an engineer for the Prairie Ronde Water System, Inc., told the Council on Thursday that the water pressure for Sunflower Lane residents should be sufficient, even after the 20 homes begin occupying residents.
Prairie Ronde Water System president Keith Latiolais, in an Oct. 16 letter addressed to the Council, stated that the water system has agreed to supply water for the single family Sunflower Lane development.
Council members were provided on Thursday nightwith extensive documentation packets that included a diagram of the development and a letter from Bellard, noting that the parish planning department concluded that homes included in the project have met the necessary engineering and application processes.
A letter from the parish health department indicates the development has also met the necessary requirements for placing mechanical sewage treatment plants for each of the constructed homes.
Bellard said during previous meetings in which the development was discussed, that since rural St. Landry properties other than those along Interstate 49, have no zoning requirements that there is no reason why the home construction project should be rejected.
Council member Mildred Thierry said approving the development required careful consideration.
“Some of (the council members) felt we needed more clarification,” Thierry said.