Spanish Town apartments not backed by planning staff

A planned apartment complex for families and veterans in Spanish Town doesn’t have support from Planning Department staff because the plans don’t meet Baton Rouge’s minimum parking requirements, according to a report released last week.

While the planned 122-unit complex would be compatible with surrounding property uses, it fails to meet UDC requirements with its 142 proposed parking spaces. The UDC requires 155, the report says. A rezoning request for the property is scheduled to be considered this afternoon by the Planning Commission.

Construction on the proposed three-story Valencia Park was slated to begin early this year on a 2.6-acre city block across from the Spanish Town Park on North 13th Street. The project was to be finished by early 2020, with half of the of the units planned to be leased to veterans and their families with the rest open to general renters.

Volunteers for America Southeast Louisiana is working with its subsidiary Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation to develop the lot as part of LHC’s 2016 flood recovery efforts. The nonprofit was awarded $5.7 million last summer in Community Development Block Grant funds from the Louisiana Housing Corporation for the project. Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation’s Development Director Vanessa Levine was unable to be reached for comment before this morning’s deadline.

Rezoning the property as a Small Planned Unit Development has been on the Planning Commission agenda since December,  but was postponed until the January meeting by Planning Director Frank Duke and, again, until February by Councilwoman Tara Wicker.

Also being considered at Monday’s meeting:

The Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 222 St. Louis St. Read the full agenda.

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