Planning and Zoning Commission

I. Power

The City of Lafayette has a Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance that defines the way in which a property owner in the City of Lafayette can develop land. The intent of the ordinance is to regulate land use so that individual properties do not overwhelm a landscape nor do they hinder effective use by other property owners.

Landowners in the City of Lafayette seeking to develop or redevelop a property in such a way that requires a change to the classification for land use in a specified area are required to appeal to the Planning and Zoning Commission in its capacity as a zoning authority. The only regulations regarding unincorporated areas of Lafayette parish are for commercial properties.

The authority of the Planning and Zoning Commission is granted in Section 4-10 of the City-Parish Home Rule charter granted through state enabling legislation. The Commission also serves as a planning commission for the Parish of Lafayette


II. Services

The Planning and Zoning Commission  is commissioned to:

  • adopt a comprehensive master plan to guide development of the City-Parish
  • review city-parish transportation plans
  • review the City-Parish President’s Capital Improvement program budget
  • maintain compliance with the subdivision regulations.   Properties less than  five acres are monitored by the Hearing Examiner – an office within LCG’s Department of Planning, Zoning and Codes.  

The City-Parish Council appoints 5 members for 5-year terms. The terms are staggered. 3 members must be qualified electors within the City of Lafayette and 2 must be qualified electors outside any municipality. The Commission adopts its rules and procedures as well as elects a chair and a vice chair.  They do not receive any pay for their service.

The Director of the Planning, Zoning and Codes Department serves as the secretary for the Planning and Zoning Commission. In this capacity, the Director keeps and maintains minutes and records of all meetings, hearings and proceedings, provides notice of meetings and hearings, and manages all applications to the Commission.

The staff of the Planning and Zoning Department and other departments of Lafayette Consolidated Government, as well as other agencies within the community, facilitate the work of the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Preliminary recommendations for each plat are made in this way: Representatives from each Lafayette Consolidated Government department as well as other agencies—Health and Hospitals, Atmos, Entergy, Cox, etc.—make up the Areawide Development Review Committee. They make their recommendations and requirements for each plat that is submitted. These recommendations become the Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission then decides to either approve or waive the conditions.

The Planning and Zoning Commission may form smaller committees to help ensure informed governance. Members of the Commission may serve on these committees, no more than two members on any given committee.

Meetings are held monthly. A quorum consists of 3 members. Separate agendas are kept for each of the Commissions functions: one for Planning and one for Zoning.  One meeting is adjourned before the second meeting begins. Meetings may be held on the same day.

All meetings are open to the public. Minutes of the proceedings are filed in the office of the Planning and Zoning Commission (the Planning, Zoning and Codes Department and later filed with the City-Parish Council). The zoning commission calendar and agenda is available on the Zoning department’s website. The meeting calendar and agendas for the Planning and Zoning Commission in its planning capacity is also available on the Planning Department’s webpage.

The Planning Commission can only ratify plats for property in the City of Lafayette and the unincorporated part of the parish. The staff of Lafayette Consolidated Government makes recommendations to the Commission and the Commission decides on approval. The same staff members also make recommendations on plats for Scott, Youngsville, and Carencro, but those towns decide on the approval. 


III. Money

There is no budget set aside for the Planning and Zoning Commission.


Sources

Government Documents

“A Home Rule Charter for the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government” (Lafayette City-Parish Charter Commission).

“Planning and Zoning Commission, Rules of Policy and Procedure”, Lafayette Consolidated Government. Adopted December 1996, Amended February 2008.

Reports

Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization, Unified Planning Work Program: FY2010/2011. (Lafayette Consolidated Government, July 2010.

Websites

“Lafayette Consolidated Government”  http://www.lafayettegov.org/

Interviews

Interview with Mike Hollier, Planning Manager, Department of Traffic and Transportation Lafayette Consolidated Government. May 7, 2010.

Interview with Jeff Larcade, Planner II, Department of Planning, Zoning and Codes. Lafayette Consolidated Government. April 30, 2010.

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John St. Julien,
Apr 26, 2010, 11:52 AM
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