Wednesday the Iberia Parish Council voted not to rezone 23 acres of farm land located near the Paul Segura Industrial Park for industrial use.
Council members who supported the rezoning effort are saying this will result in the loss of thousands of dollars in potential tax revenues.
Iberia Parish councilman, Ricky Gonsoulin, says the decision not to rezone that property will not only cost the parish thousands of dollars, it will also adversely impact the parishes efforts at future economic development.
“What really bothers me the most is that property is already surrounded by industrial zoned properties on three sides,” says Councilman Troy Comeaux.
Comeaux says he was in favor of the rezoning effort as long as there was a 100 foot buffer between the proposed industrial land and residents living east of that land on Freetown Rd.
“That would also deny access of the industrial traffic on Freetown, all the traffic would have to go back towards Highway 90 and Frontage,” says Comeaux.
“The issue was never about the buffer zone. The opposition of the residents was always about the type of industrial businesses that could move in behind us, such as a sandblasting yard or a pipe fabrication yard,” says resident Jarrod Suire.
Suire is one of 35 residents in the area who opposed the rezoning, because the company interested in moving in, Alchemy Management, wouldn't say what they intended to do with it.
“We were never approached by the developer for that kind of discussion. A other words the developer went in and said ‘I want an open industrial variance,”” says Suire.
And that's also why residents received the backing of the parish Office of Planning and Zoning.
“Certain industries create more obnoxious noises and longer hours than others,” says Planning and Zoning Director John Raines.
An official at Alchemy Management says they decided against purchasing the land once they saw such a large opposition from residents in September.