Restraining Order issued against Jamestown Crossing [why is Lawler taking it so personally?]

Judge Tess Percy Stromberg signed off an a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining Ascension’s Planning Commission from taking any action in furtherance of Jamestown Crossing yesterday, including adoption of the minutes of the May 9 approval of its subdivision preliminary plat.  Agenda Item 8 (A) on tonight’s meeting agenda calls for adoption of those minutes.

The next step for plaintiffs is the hearing to decide issuance of a preliminary injunction barring “any further progress on Jamestown Crossing” set for June 21 in Gonzales.

“We believe the law is on our side and it is encouraging to see the court grant the TRO,” said Jeff Pettit, one of the named plaintiffs.  “The commission ignored Ascension’s Land Development Code which was an arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable exercise of its powers.”

The ordinance referred to is ULDC 17-4032 which reads:

A. The Commission shall apply the following rules in evaluation of subdivision applications:
1. Density Restrictions
a. No major or minor subdivision may be developed on any street which is less than 18’ in pavement width.

Pettit opined that “no room for interpretation exists in such straightforward language.  And LA 930, which bisects Jamestown Crossing’s two phases, averaged 17.3′ in width, well below the minimum allowed for development to occur.”  Efforts to widen the subject road in the future as a condition of approval should not have been allowed.

On Monday the Parish Council Transportation Committee recommended accepting LA 930 and other roads from the State of Louisiana in return for $4.8 million earmarked for rebuilding the road.  That effort is being pushed by Councilman Aaron Lawler whose District 7 shares LA 930 as a boundary with Councilman Benny Johnson’s District 11.

“Concerned Citizens” file suit to stop Jamestown Crossing

Lawler, according to Jeff Pettit, intimated that Ascension’s takeover and improvement to the road would remedy any defects in the May 9 approval by the Planning Commission.

“Mr. Lawler approached me before Monday’s Transportation meeting, smugger than usual, and bragged that his committee was going to fix any issues with the approval of Jamestown Crossing,” Pettit claimed.  “His exact words were, ‘you can thank me when your lawsuit comes crashing down on top of you.’  I don’t know why Lawler is taking this so personally.”