Friday, February 26, 2016

soil borings

Valero zoning on Jacob Drive

Soil boring work began along the Jacob Canal, presumably for the construction of multiple parking lots and an Admin Building.  Although the Public Hearing to Amend our Land Use Map and Comprehensive Plan was cancelled due to weather, it seems soil boring work has begun, indicating Valero likely will continue efforts to change the zoning from Residential to Commercial. 

St Bernard Parish Government reviews its land use plan for Major Changes every five years. However, anyone can submit a Minor change  proposal in January of any year. The February meeting to decide whether or not to adopt such Minor amendments was cancelled due to weather. It is unclear if Valero's proposal to expand into our neighborhood was classified as a Minor amendment or not. That vote on the amendment seems to be re-scheduled for March 22 2016.

Even without the Amendment to Commercial Land Use, Valero can apply for a Zoning change from Residential to Commercial.  A reasonable constituency would expect such an application to be denied on all accounts as not being consistent with the land use plan----  but then again, maybe local officials have an understanding with Valero that has yet to be revealed to the residents.

Even though Valero repeated assured residents there were no plans for the neighborhood properties, other than the existing empty lots which serve as the intended greenspace, and despite multiple public records requests of local government for any agreement with St Bernard Parish Government  and Valero Energy for development of the greenspace, including use of Road Home LLT lots, it seems Valero expects the residents to “accommodate adjacent Valero refining expansion.”   
Valero could be a good neighbor, and honor its agreements with the residents, and stay on their side of the fence.  Not the first time Valero has been disingenuous.

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