St. Tammany creates economic development districts

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News,Business

COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The St. Tammany Parish Council has voted created two more economic development districts that parish officials say will help guide commercial development in strategic areas along the Interstate 12 corridor.

By unanimous vote on Thursday, NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1kClzmh ) the council created districts in the vicinity of the I-12 interchanges at La. Highway 434 north of Lacombe and Highway 1088 northeast of Mandeville.

Parish Economic Development Director Don Shea told the council last month that such districts will give the parish more tools to guide development at and near major interchanges along I-12, which he has described as the parish's "Main Street."

The parish can establish specific design and land-use standards in those areas and implement special sales taxes to generate revenue that could be used in a variety of ways, including paying for infrastructure improvements such as roads, in the districts.

The districts would help draw quality corporate, business and industrial developments to the parish and enable St. Tammany to compete with other areas, Shea has said.

Several people spoke in favor of the creation of the districts on Thursday night.

Bonnie Eades, representing the Northshore Business Council, Northshore Legislative Alliance and the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, said the groups support creation of the districts. They will give the parish better control of growth along I-12 by setting standards that will assure high-quality business growth that's visually attractive, she said.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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