Feb 22, 2011 10:16 PM by Shawn Kline
A City-Parish Advisory Board will study four plans this week, one of which will become Lafayette's "Master Plan."
If approved by the City-Parish Council, the Master Plan will replace zoning ordinances the city has used for nearly 40-years.
The plan will include steps to help traffic flow as the city grows and it will also set the standards for building new neighborhoods.
So, imagine if you will, a city with less traffic and more of neighborhoods like River Ranch.
That's exactly what planners hope to accomplish.
"We have to be thinking in terms of getting out of the box a little bit." City-Parish President Joey Durel says they'll be "doing some things that might even make people uncomfortable."
Durel says the Master Plan will be a blueprint for the future and it needs the input of the general public for that reason.
"It can not be the politician's comprehensive plan, it can't be the government's comprehensive plan." Durel says, "it has to be the people's comprehensive plan."
"We have four of the best planners in the country who are interviewing." Planning expert Steven Oubre says, "(they) are dying to get this job."
The job is to write the future of Lafayette, lay a guide for the development of roads, infrastructure and neighborhoods.
Oubre says plans similar to these are working in some of America's top cities right now. Cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"Environmentally they were a disaster, economically they were a disaster, educationally they were a disaster and this was 20 years ago." Oubre says, "last year, best city in America to live."
The challenge in Lafayette is to prevent these disasters and keep the city and its culture growing.
On thursday, the public will hear four possible plans one of which will be chosen as the master plan and if City-Parish Council approves it, it could impact the region for generations.
"It will affect everyone who lives in Lafayette today and everyone who will live in Lafayette in the future," Durel said.
The proposals will be presented at the Acadiana Center for the Arts on Thursday between 9 am and 4 pm.
However, if you can't make it, it will air on Acadiana Open Channel and online at www.lafayettela.gov/comprehensiveplan.asp