No building in River levee: Police jury approves 90-day moratorium

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A temporary moratorium on new home construction and developments located between levees and the Red River in Bossier Parish has been approved by the parish police jury.

During its Wednesday meeting, jury members voted unanimously to issue a 90-day stay to give the U.S. Corps of Engineers to collect information and determine a Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for areas where the river topped its banks and flooded homes in subdivisions located inside levees.

Patrick Jackson, parish attorney, told jury members the decision “…is a valid exercise of your authority to establish a moratorium until the experts who are authorized under federal law to set the BFE have the opportunity to analyze this new data to establish or determine that no BFE can be set.”

Jackson pointed out that authority to set flood elevations is outside the police jury’s jurisdiction, resting with the Corps of Engineers and FEMA.

“It will take them some time to take this data, digest it and make an engineering decision,” he said. Jackson said Wednesday’s action does not revoke permits that have already been issued, nor does it halt construction already underway.

Parish Administrator Bill Altimus told jury members that the focus of the highway department is now shifting to repair and maintenance of parish roadways.

“Because of the flood event, our road overlay program is running behind and we have a lot of ground to make up,” Altimus said. “We understand some roads have damage, we’re running graders and repairing potholes. We’re aware of the problems and we’re addressing them.”

Altimus said the highway is still spread a little thin dealing with issues related to the flooding.

“We understand the issues and the public’s concerns and we’re getting to the problems as fast as we can,” he said.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, police jury members:
-approved a plat for development of Summerset Estates subdivision, a 120-acre proposed development with 21 lots located at Crouch Road and Hwy. 162

-scheduled a public hearing for July 15 to consider an application to change the zoning classification of a 10-acre tract at the corner of Hwy. 80 and Daleen Road from residential agriculture district to light industrial district

-scheduled five property condemnation hearings for the next police jury meeting

-approved a cooperative endeavor agreement among the Red River Waterway District, the city of Bossier City and Bossier Parish for extension of the Arthur Ray Teague multi-use trail

-approved a plan change for the parish of Bossier’s primary sewer lift stations and force mains

-suspended enforcement of parish ordinances pertaining to sanitary sewer and potable water to homes and businesses on Buckhall Rd., Cash Point Landing Rd. and River Bluff subdivision.