As if there aren’t enough alleged conflicts between northern and southern sections within the City of Lafayette, now parish consolidation....and it’s potential undoing.....are stirring up real conflicts between east, west, north and south Lafayette Parish. It’s not pretty. It rarely is when it’s about money and land. And it’s the land issues which must be resolved before we get to the even more complicated issues of undoing the pretend consolidation currently in existence.
David has apparently been kicking Goliath’s butt in annexing land right and left all around the Lafayette city limits. In some circles it’s being called a “land grab”; in others, “taking care of business”.
But now, with new census numbers to be released in 2011, the sleeping giant city awakens and sends out emergency meeting notices on a Sunday morning for the parish council to vote on annexing 270 acres in the next 24 hours. Most of that acreage is a golf course but why a “city-owned golf course” in an unincorporated area of the parish was not already annexed into the City of Lafayette is not clear. The neighboring municipality of Broussard annexed a road leading to the golf course. But this is just one contentious land issue.
The 270 acres is a mere pittance to the pot of gold which is the new six mile, 60 million dollar stretch of Ambassador Caffery Parkway which just opened. Imagine the business development possibilities along a raw stretch of prime property! Understandably, every nearby municipality wants some of those future sales taxes.
Parish President Durel has been holding meetings in the area to explain the pros and cons of “de-consolidation” but it’s the controversial land issue making the most noise. The City of Lafayette makes up 56% of the parish; the smaller municipaliaties 16%; and the so far unincorporated areas of the parish, 28%.
Now there will be a nine member charter commission providing a layer of decision delaying before Lafayette Parish voters have their say. The fun never stops in Lafalot.