Houston River Road residents oppose new zoning exception allowing industrial development

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:09 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Residents who live off Houston River Road are fighting what’s called a zoning exception that would allow a large industrial development in their neighborhood.

93-year-old Marie Cole ,along with other family members live on Houston River Road. They do not want another industrial development near their homes.

Tammye Cole said her mother’s house is one of the closest to the development and that they have problems already with the existing industry.

“My mom, I take care of her and there are elderly people in this neighborhood. It’s just going to be awfully loud, it’s going to be dangerous, it’s going to be dusty. There’s no trees left out here and they’re fixing to take out 167 more acres,” Cole said. “I just don’t see how they can do this to us.”

Sprint Rail Partners proposed a 167-acre railroad storage yard and resident Glenda Lejeune opposes.

“Which will hold over 2100 cars carrying hazardous chemicals in and out of here and being stored here,” Lejeune said. “We have a fine example of what just happened in Ohio with the explosion of 20 cars.”

Sprint Rail Partners denies it would cause odors and other nuisances to the surrounding neighbors, but neighbors don’t buy it.

The people also disagree with the process that allows a zoning exception to be approved by the zoning board alone and not including the police jury.

“I think it’s wrong. I think it’s some kind of loophole they’re trying to use. I had never heard of any such thing,” Lejeune said.

Sprint Rail Partners said they’ll tell their side of the story at the public meeting Tuesday.

Residents are holding a neighborhood meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Houston River Baptist Church at the corner of Houston River Road and Highway 27.