Application pulled for controversial Plank Road request

A request to rezone seven lots near the corner of Plank and Choctaw roads from residential to heavy commercial has been withdrawn by the applicant prior to Monday’s Planning Commission meeting. 

Bluefin Development, an Arkansas-based investor group, filed the rezoning request in late October for the property, noting plans to develop a convenience store with an attached retail shell that could accommodate up to four tenants. As previously reported by Daily Report, the developers currently have a purchase agreement on the property, which was pending approval of the rezoning request.

Build Baton Rouge President and CEO Chris Tyson, whose agency recently completed a yearlong master plan for the redevelopment of the Plank Road corridor, spoke against the proposed plans last month, saying Bluefin’s plans effectively amount to adding another packaged liquor store to the corridor, which is something the area doesn’t need.

Planning Department staff had recommended the request be approved. 

Still up for Planning Commission consideration on Monday is a proposed Gold’s Gym at The Reserve at Jefferson Crossing, near the intersection of Jefferson Highway and Highland Road. According to plans submitted to the city-parish, the business would be 20,000 square feet. Planning Department staff is recommending the project be approved.  

The Planning Commission is also expected to choose an interim director to take the place of Planning Director Frank Duke. Duke, who has held the position since 2014, last month announced he was retiring in March. “It’s time,” Duke told Daily Report at the time. “I’m old. I’m tired.”

The appointment may be made in executive session, according to the agenda. 

The Planning Commission will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at City Hall, 222 St. Louis Street. Read the full agenda.  

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