Zoning districts throughout the City of Lafayette are about to undergo a change. The Unified Development Codes were approved by the Lafayette Consolidated Council on May 5. The new codes will go into effect on December 7.
There’s a chance to speak your mind and say the change doesn’t work for you. The Chief Development Officer Carlee Alm-LaBar say “Opting In” is a provision that allows a person to build under the new development codes before December. The request must be submitted before it can be approved. “There are some things allowed under the new Unified Development Codes that are not allowed today or would require a variance today. So folks can take advantage of the codes early if there is something they want to do today that will be allowed on December 7th,” says Alm-LaBar.
Alm-LaBar says the unified codes come with new zoning districts city-wide. The only way to request to prevent a zone change is to request a “Challenge.” The deadline to do that at no cost is September 8. “There maybe someone in an industrial district that may have a residential home. As this transition they will still be in an industrial district. They may choose to say look I have neighborhoods around me and residential zoning around me I think its more appropriate that I go to a residential zoning district..”
The Director of Public Works Kevin Blanchard says one change will be in the unincorporated parts of Lafayette Parish. The unincorporated subdivisions will be required to have closed ditches. Blanchard calls the standard a measure to save taxpayers money. “An open ditch subdivision or a substandard road eventually that cost is passed onto taxpayers or the public to maintain it. If we don’t increase standards at the front end, then we just continue to put money into some of those systems that just become part of the network.”
The forms are on LCG’s website. At the bottom of the page click on Unified Development Codes or contact zoning for further information.