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Leesville may approve zoning for new development

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LEESVILLE, La. (AP) — Officials in Leesville have taken the first step toward development of a residential and commercial area on the city's outskirts.

The American Press reported (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) the City Council voted this past week to introduce a zoning ordinance for University Parkway, codifying the vision for development of the community.

Officials in Leesville have taken the first step toward development of a residential and commercial area on the city's outskirts.

The American Press reported (http://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) the City Council voted this past week to introduce a zoning ordinance for University Parkway, codifying the vision for development of the community.

Because of nearby Army base at Fort Polk, Janet Tharp, a Lafayette-based consultant with Center for Planning Excellence, said the development code and zoning map would be sensitive to the needs of military families.

She said it would include varied types of structures, with an emphasis on keeping communities convenient and safe and having businesses within walking distance.

"Basically the intent is to provide a variety of housing choices. People who are of a more transient people often don't want large lots, lots of yard to take care of," she said. "And so we're looking at more compact housing and a variety of housing choices and mix of uses so you can walk to schools and services and retail."

The code was developed through a series of meetings that began in 2008. Its introduction at the council is only one step in zoning the area.

Council members are expected to approve it on June 23. The Vernon Parish Police Jury is scheduled to vote on a zoning ordinance because the University Parkway development straddles city and parish land. Tharp said the zoning plans will be identical.

If both bodies adopt the ordinance, it would go into effect July 3. Tharp said existing structures in the area would not be forced to conform to the new code.

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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