Mar 6, 2014 7:06 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Zoning plans for the Village of Maurice

For the first time, properties in the Village of Maurice will be zoned. Officials said the goal is to lay out a blueprint for where future development will happen.

In the last few weeks, a zoning commission has been placing properties into three categories -- commercial, residential, and light industrial.

Residents like Austin Shumaker said zoning Maurice properties is a good thing. Shumaker is the manager of Soop's Seafood and Steak House and said zoning could help protect the restaurant.

"I mean we don't want a, you know, a big oil company and open up across the street," Shumaker said.

The zoning process comes at time when the Vermilion Parish village, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is experiencing a boom. The population increased by 50 percent from 2000 to 2010.

"That gives us an opportunity to determine where we want to be and how we want to be in the future in 10 and 20 years," Maurice Mayor Wayne Theriot said of zoning.

Theriot said with population growth and more businesses on the horizon, a blueprint is needed to make sure everything is appropriately placed.

"I wanted to do a very basic restriction to prohibit anything that deals with the hazardous waste or explosive types of materials from being within a certain radius of schools, churches, health-care facilities and government facilities."

The zoning commission will evaluate about 800 properties. In the meantime, Shumaker said he will be keeping up with the progress.

"I think that's really important. Community involvement is key for making this work," Shumaker said.



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