P&Z Chairman Resigns, New Commission Member Appointed

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    The resignation of Paul Burns, the Chairman of Central’s Planning and Zoning Commission, left an open seat on the seven-member group appointed to make recommendations on zoning and development in Central.  At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Ryan Sheridan was selected by the City Council to fill the open seat.
    Burns resigned from the P&Z Commission in November after the City Council overturned a P&Z decision and reduced the minimum lot size in Conservation areas from three acres to one acre.  These areas are primarily located in areas prone to flooding.  Mr. Burns is quoted in a Baton Rouge newspaper as stating that the change is “making more people susceptible to flooding” and that “It was very wrong. … I didn’t want to be a part of it.”
    The advertisement and appointment did not specify the length of the term to which Sheridan was appointed. The city is currently unclear as to which P&Z members are serving in which of the seven staggered terms and when those terms expire. There are three different and conflicting charts detailing the terms of the P&Z members.  One was approved by vote of the City Council in 2013, a second was issued by the mayor’s office in recent months, and a third chart is proposed to be voted on by the City Council at its January 24 meeting.  Central Speaks will publish a full analysis of this issue in two weeks.