Rezoning Hearing This Wednesday

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The City-Parish Metro Council will hear this Wednesday, June 16, 2010 a request for a rezoning of property at the corner of Hwy 64 (Zachary-Deerford Rd) and Tucker Rd to allow group homes for troubled teens.  This property is just outside the city limits of Central.  The city limits of Central run along the southern part of Hwy 64 to the Comite River.  This proposed project is on the northern side of Hwy 64.  The requested rezoning is from Rural to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow the group homes on the property.
The City-Parish Planning Commission recommended approval of the project at their May 24, 2010 meeting by a vote of 7 yeas, 1 nay, and 1 absent.   Seven residents in the area spoke against the project, and two people representing the developer spoke in favor.
The development is called Heritage Ranch Christian Children's Home and it will be located on a 52-acre site.  The project could serve as many as 60 youths, ranging from ages 8 to 18.  The project would serve children in crisis who have mild to moderate behavior problems or academic issues according to the program's executive director Vicki Ellis.  She said Heritage Ranch would basically be a series of foster homes where children could live for up to a year and a half while receiving treatment and counseling services.
Metro Councilman Trae Welch said he expects there to be a large crowd at the council meeting.  Welch has stated his opposition to the project and will urge other council members to vote no as well. 
The meeting will be held starting at 4pm Wednesday in the Metro Council Chambers in City Hall, 222 St. Louis Street, 3rd floor in downtown Baton Rouge.

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