Panel approves slate of zoning changes



Measures require Parish Council OK

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
By Paul Bartels
St. Tammany bureau

The St. Tammany Parish Zoning Commission has approved numerous zoning and other changes for the 2,500-acre Lakeshore Estates/Lakeshore Village residential, recreational and commercial development south of Slidell.

The changes in the master development plan are being made primarily to reconfigure the major residential areas to conform with the location of the ring levee relocation as part of the upscale project's flood-protection system.

The amendments to the 25-year master plan, first approved by the commission and the Parish Council in late 2001, were requested by Tammany Holding Corp. President Robert Torres in late April.

Torres said more than $60 million has been invested in the development, sometimes referred to as Oak Harbor East, since the initial phase began in late 1998. The total cost of developing the 2,500 acres over the next 25 years is estimated at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, he said.

The commission approved the PUD, or planned unit development, changes last week. They must go to the Parish Council for ratification, which is expected, because of rezonings on various sections of the huge development along and near Lake Pontchartrain.

A number of parcels now zoned A-3 suburban, A-6 general multiple-family residential, C-2 highway commercial, C-3 planned commercial center and SA suburban agriculture all will become part of the PUD district.

Other tracts are excluded from the PUD designation, mainly the existing Lakeshore Estates subdivision that will stay in the A-3 zone, Northshore Harbor Center, an undeveloped industrial tract to the north, a few commercial parcels on the west side that have been annexed to Slidell and some commercial parcels on the west side.

The planning staff recommended approval of the changes. They're expected to have little, if any, effect on people who live in Lakeshore Estates or have bought lots for homes there.

The summary of changes provided by Torres to the Planning Department says the boundary between the two PUDs will be moved to the north to coincide with the new levee location.

Plan segments

The current master plan divides the new Lakeshore Estates PUD into five segments:

-- LE-1 for high-rise, multiunit residential and commercial. Townhouses, condominiums, motels, apartments, professional offices, medical facilities, entertainment venues and specialty retail shops.

-- LE-2 for waterfront, single-family and multiunit residential. Lakeside homes and multifamily residential.

-- LE-3 for high-rise, multiunit, single-unit and commercial. A combination of LE-1 and LE-2 plus restaurants, lounges, health clubs, yacht clubs and marinas. LE-3 is being expanded to coincide with the boundary change.

-- LE-4 for marina commercial, neighborhood commercial and mid-rise, multiunit. This category also is being expanded.

-- LE-5 for interstate commercial. Shopping centers and malls, motels, general and specialty retail, professional offices, medical facilities, service stations, convenience stores and fast-food outlets.

New categories

The new Lakeshore Village PUD has three categories:

-- LV-1 for neighborhood commercial. General and specialty retail, shopping centers and malls, groceries, drug stores, Laundromats, health clubs, professional offices, multifamily units, townhouses, condos, medical facilities and the like.

-- LV-2 for institutional uses, including schools, churches, fire and police stations, post offices, health and medical facilities and government offices.

-- LV-3 for single-unit residential with some multifamily developments. This one is to be reduced in size by the levee relocation. It will include part of LV-2, according to the summary, and schools, churches and recreational uses may be interspersed within the residential areas over time.

-- LV-4 for waterfront single-unit residential with some multifamily residential and professional offices. It's being eliminated as a separate category.

. . . . . . .

Paul Bartels can be reached at
pbartels@timespicayune.com or (985) 645-2854.

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