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Council approves resolution to form "Protect the City" committee

Open container, curfew ordinance changes die
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Posted at 7:37 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 00:02:14-05

The Lafayette City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that will form a "Protect the City" committee at Tuesday's council meeting.

The committee's purpose is to gather the input from a diverse range of citizens on the benefits of City-Parish consolidation to the City of Lafayette.

"When you go to the grocery store, or any store, you pay sales taxes, and those taxes, should go to the City of Lafayette, nowhere else," Councilman Pat Lewis said.

Lewis proposed the committee, which will also consider whether Lafayette should have its own mayor.

"All these five municipalities have their own mayor, and people in Lafayette, cannot vote for their mayor," Lewis said.

All seven members of the committee will be appointed February 23rd, during the city council meeting. Lewis said he hopes the decision will be placed on the ballot in 2022.

Each council member will appoint someone from the committee, the other two will be voted on through a resume process.

To apply, mail a resume to Veronica Williams, Clerk of the Council, PO BOX 4017-C LAFAYETTE, LA 70502. Or you can email it to her, BClafayette@lafayetteLA.gov. All resumes must be submitted by noon on February 9Th.

You can read more about the committee here.

The councils also discussed open-container and curfew changes, but the proposed changes died.

MORE BACKGROUND: The city and parish councils considered changes to the open container law that applies to the entire parish.

Currently, you can take an alcoholic beverage in a go-cup (paper, plastic or foam) out of a Downtown establishment until midnight. The changes would move that deadline up to 10 p.m. There are exceptions, and those don't change, for events like Downtown Alive, Symphony concerts, Artwalk and festivals. The Mayor-President could have granted an exemption for any event, under the proposed ordinance change.

Both councils had to approve this change for it to take effect. The proposal was pulled for the councils to discuss, but later died. To read the proposed ordinance changes, click here.

The City Council considered a special curfew for the Downtown District which stretches from West Simcoe on the north, south past Johnston Street, west past University and east past Evangeline Thruway. In that area, people younger than 18 without their parent or guardian could not be outside in any "public place" between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night of the week.

"Public place" includes public streets, private streets, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, public buildings and any place that is "open to or used by the public."

Exceptions are granted for kids going to or from work, or to or from a formal organized activity; kids on an errand for their guardian that uses "a direct route" and emergencies. Kids also are allowed on the sidewalk in front of their house or in front of their next-door neighbor's house - as long as the neighbor hasn't called the police to complain about them.

Exceptions also are "granted" for kids who are exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech, assembly and religion.

Currently, the city's curfew for minors is from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight until 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Those hours would remain in place for kids who live outside of the "downtown district."

The curfew ordinance did not pass for discussion. To read the proposed ordinance, click here.

The meetings are aired live on both LUS Fiber-Channel 3 and on Cox Communications-Channel 16, then replayed on the following Friday at 7:00 p.m.