Ascension Parish Council takes no action on Delaune Estates lawsuit

Michael Tortorich

The Ascension Parish Council went into executive session for more than an hour during the Feb. 18 meeting in Gonzales concerning Delaune v. Ascension Parish Planning Commission et al.

Delaune Estates, a 237-lot subdivision proposed for 86 acres of land at the intersection of Hwy. 73 and White Road, has been in litigation since late last year. The parish planning commission and the council acting as the board of appeals both denied the plat last year.

After returning from the session, the council adjourned the meeting without any discussion on the agenda item.

Formerly referred to as Antebellum Pointe, the Delaune Estates preliminary plat was denied by the planning commission in March 2020 and the parish council acting as the board of appeals in July 2020. The lawsuit was filed later in the year.

The 237-lot subdivision has been proposed for 86 acres of land owned by the Delaune family. It is located west of Hwy. 73 at White Road, just more than a mile from Interstate 10.

The July meeting was contentious as several concerned citizens spoke during the public comment portion. At the time, most took issue with the impact the subdivision would have on traffic, drainage, and sewer infrastructures.

Parish President Clint Cointment released a statement Feb. 18, ahead of the meeting, expressing concerns about the item included on the agenda without his knowledge. He has made multiple public statements against the subdivision.

Cointment suspected the council would vote after returning from the executive session.

“In return for approval of the original subdivision plat, the plaintiffs will agree to dismiss its suit,” Cointment said in the statement.

He contended the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has not provided confirmation that it would allow changes to multiple traffic signals’ timing in the heavily trafficked area.

“In fact, the exact opposite has occurred. DOTD has stated, unequivocally, it would not make any adjustments which would negatively affect traffic on Hwy. 73 in favor of the proposed subdivision,” Cointment stated.