Parish News

Jury will study billboard, tower ordinances

05/04/2018

Business in Bossier Parish continues to grow and with that growth comes an occasional bump in the road. A parish police jury committee will soon try to smooth one of those bumps.

“We’ve been experiencing the last few months an increase in requests for off-premise signs (billboards) and cellular towers,” Director of the Metropolitan Planning Commission Sam Marsiglia told jury members. “There are no comprehensive ordinances in the Benton zone for these two uses.”

A couple of concerns for billboards are the new LED technology and nothing to regulate the distance between those types of off-premise signs and residential areas, Marsiglia said.

“That technology gets very bright. There’s nothing regulating how many or how close they can be to a house. You might have this large television screen lighting up a house,” he said.

Marsiglia said no ordinance is in place in the Benton area that determines height or numbers on cell towers, and more requests for permits are coming into his office. He also pointed out that with no regulations in place, the height of those towers can’t be defined.

Bossier City does have ordinances in place and Marsiglia said he could refine that for use in the parish. Police jury President Glenn Benton agreed that a consistent regulation would be best and he asked the jury’s road/subdivision committee to take up the issue.

“We kicked this can down the road some time ago,” Benton said. “I don’t want to see us in the parish have one ordinance for the towns and one for the city.”

During his report to the police jury, Parish Engineer Butch Ford said cellular towers also present another problem that needs to be considered.

“One problem caused by cellular towers is the need for fiber optic cables. That puts another cable underground in our right-of-way; that is creating a lot of havoc with our street and road dedication,” Ford said.

Already in the public road rights-of-way are water, sewer and gas lines and, in some cases, power lines, he said. Road rights-of-way are determined with these utilities in mind.

“There’s not enough room for them all. These have to be 18 inches from another utility and we may have to widen the road right-of-way,” Ford said.

Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson said there are times when private industry must make their own way, and this could be one of those times.

“Public rights-of-way were never designed to house all the things that are there,” he said. “Property is getting more expensive. Imagine if we have to widen the north/south corridor another 40 feet. What would it cost us?”

During Wednesday’s meeting, police jury members:

·      Authorized advertising for bids for official journal of the Bossier Parish Police Jury.

·      Authorized advertising for bids for the Commerce Drive extension, phase III.

·      Discussed requests for qualifications received April 25 for a real estate consultant to assist with closing services for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

·      Approved the LTP Timberquest Fund, LP, minor plat.

·      Scheduled public hearings to approve plats of proposed developments of J.E. Jones subdivision, unit 2, and Lakewood subdivision, unit 4-E.

·      Heard reports from the Industrial Development and Policy and Procedures committees.

·      Approved supplemental agreement 2 from Forte & Tablada for replacement of the Linton Rd. bridge over Black Bayou reservoir.

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