The chamber’s position is that the new Planning and Zoning ordinances should support the current and future development of the mixed use model of downtown as it currently exists, he said.
“Breaux Bridge is seen as a model for developing communities around the country as a great place to live and work,” Theriot said.
The announcement comes hours before the Planning and Zoning Commission convenes for a second hearing on the proposal authored by consultant Dr. Dennis Ehrhardt, a ULL professor.
The hearing was set for Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
“In an effort to pave the way for better dialogue with the Breaux Bridge Zoning Commission and the City Administration, the Breaux Bridge Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of suggested changes to the commercial aspects of the recently proposed zoning ordinance,” Theriot said in a news release issued Tuesday morning.
The chamber’s suggestions were submitted to the commission last week along with suggested changes formulated by a group of downtown property owners and residents, he said.
A group of property owners and others walked out in the middle of a commission hearing on Feb. 3 when the commission declined to discuss residences in the downtown business district. The earlier hearing was limited to discussion of plans for residential areas only, members said.
The plan as presented does not allow for downtown residences without applying for special use permits.
Theriot said both the chamber’s suggestions and those coming from the downtown property owners were the result of an intense week-long effort of research, analysis and focus group meetings targeting mixed-use zoning, historic preservation and smart-growth urban development.
“We look forward to an ongoing dialog with all groups to create a ordinance that will insure the continued development of the unique downtown culture of Breaux Bridge,” Theriot said.
“We would like to thank the Mayor, City Council, and P and Z’s Becky Blanchard for holding these forums. We also want to thank the group of downtown property owners, residents and business people for contributing to the process.”
With the city’s 150th anniversary celebration underway, “this dialogue couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee Chair Liz Simon Dejean.
“It’s like a giant cue card that says ‘wake up and smell the roses’. It forces us to recognize that the prosperity and allure of our small Louisiana town is a direct result of the astounding growth of our cultural economy and the preservation of the historical aspects of our community,” Dejean said.
“It is the acceptance of diversity, continued entrepreneurial-ship and innovative and bright leadership that will inevitably prevail and pave the way for our success,” she said.
For information on membership, programs, 150th Anniversary Celebration and complete proposed zoning ordinance, visit breauxbridgelive.com or call 332-5406.