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Belle Savanne subdivision allowed to finish without connector road

Michael Tortorich

The Ascension Parish Council convened Nov. 12 as the Board of Appeals, overturning the appeal of the Belle Savanne subdivision developer, which eliminated a required road linking Hwy. 73 to Bluff Road.

Ascension Parish Council Chair Teri James Casso listens to a speaker during a meeting held earlier this month.

The 10 members present unanimously voted on the decision. Council member Michael Mason was absent.

The subdivision is located in the area around Interstate 10 on-ramp and exit, as well as Dutchtown High School, which is notorious for its traffic snarls. Currently, the only ingress and egress for the subdivision is at Hwy. 73, near the Ascension Parish Library’s Dutchtown branch.

Level Homes’ website advertises houses ranging from 1,634 to more than 3,200 square feet, and starting at $290,000. The council decision allows the remaining houses in the development to be built and placed on the real estate market.

The developer, Engquist-Level Development, asked for removal of the condition on the preliminary plat, which said no certificate of occupancy would be granted until a road connected to Bluff Road.

Chair Teri James Casso began the meeting by stating it would take eight votes to overturn the appeal.

The parish’s planning director, Jerome Fournier, said the Department of Transportation and Development plans to eliminate the traffic signal at the intersection of Hwy. 73 and C. Braud Road, due to its close proximity to the interstate’s off-ramp. He said the concern is over causing dangerous conditions on the interstate if traffic backs up from the red light.

The parish’s transportation director, Joey Tureau, said the parish has been planning its own linking road through the Move Ascension project.

“We already have consultants we can assign immediately, and we have done that,” he said.

The connector road would run through the nearby Crestview Estates subdivision, according to Tureau. Construction could be completed within about two years, he added.

Later, Casso allowed input from the public just prior to the council voting to go into executive session.

The second phase of building will include 96 houses. The subdivision will have a total of 285 houses after construction is complete.