Parish News

Jury approves Palmetto zoning changes


A computer eye view of one portion of the proposed Palmetto WK development.


Zoning changes on a parcel of land in Benton totaling just under 155 acres to pave the way for a future development by Willis Knight on Health Systems was approved Wednesday by the Bossier Parish Police Jury.

Just over 74 acres was changed from R-A (residence-agriculture district) to R-1 (one family residence district) while an 80-acre tract was rezoned from R-A to B-3 (community and central business district) for the proposed WK Palmetto development.

All the acreage rezoned Wednesday was the former home of Palmetto Country Club. The owner of the 60-year-old club in Benton ceased operations of the golf course in 2014 citing higher operating expenses and declining membership. WK purchased the property in 2016.

Sonny Moss, vice president of WK Health Systems, said the development is still in planning stages but initial plans call for a fitness center, a quick care assisted living center and a skill care (nursing home) facility.

“We view this as a long-term project that will have several moving parts,” Moss told jury members. “In the future, in order to handle the healthcare needs of Bossier Parish and north Bossier we are going to need to expand our services.”

Moss said the WK philosophy has always been “ try to bring health care to the community rather than the community coming to us. Growth in north Bossier Parish and Benton makes this demographically one of the best areas in Louisiana.” 

Future plans call for the development to include a primary care hospital to serve the basic health care needs of the area, he said.

“We feel like the area will need a facility of that nature,” Moss said.

Enough land is also available for development of independent living situations very similar to those found at The Oaks of Louisiana, a community designed for individuals and couples age 55 and older, Moss said.

“Our architectural design and layout and planning stage is pretty much a clone of that facility as far as esthetics,” he pointed out. “We want something that adds to the the value of the community and doesn’t detract.”

In other business during Wednesday’s meeting, police jury members:

·      Approved a plat for the proposed development of St. Charles Court Village subdivision, unit 8.

·      Approved a change order for drainage improvements at Forest Hills subdivision.

·      Agreed to uphold and ratify findings in two cases brought by the jury’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit board of appeals.

·      Accepted the resignation of Emily McMillian from the Bossier Parish Fire District 7 board of commissioners and postponed naming a replacement.

·      Approved the application for a 2017 beer/liquor license at Swamp Daddy’s in Haughton.

·      Declared adjudicated property in Bossier City as surplus, then approved donation of the property to Bossier City for redevelopment of the downtown area.

·      Approved a proposal for performance of subsurface exploration of River Bluff subdivision.

·      Approved an agreement for clearing and grubbing, fencing and other related work for the Bossier north-south corridor, Swan Lake Rd.

·      Approved a plan change for aggregate road improvements and approved a certificate of substantial completion for the improvements.

·      Agreed to proceed to a condemnation hearing on a substandard parcel of property.


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