Recent flooding could impact future riverfront developments

Recent flooding could impact future riverfront developments
Lot plans for Red River Trace
Lot plans for Red River Trace
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BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The recent flooding in the ArkLaTex could impact the future of undeveloped riverfront properties across Bossier Parish.

One of those developments is the Red River Trace subdivision, which is being advertised as the first river lots offered in South Bossier Parish.

The land for the neighborhood is located in the former locations of Clarks Marina and Riverbend Marina, just south of Elm Grove.

"Just the fact that it is on the water makes it really special," Lucky Company Realtor Jennifer Hendrix said about the property in July of 2014.

But Drew Lefler, whose farm land is next to the planned neighborhood, says to him, its obvious why there aren't other South Bossier neighborhoods on the river side of the levee.

"There is a reason why my parents, my grandparents, and their parents, built their homes on the highway side of the levee," he explained that reason, is the property on the wrong side of the levee can flood. "There is a reason why they put the levees where they put them."

In fact, just a few days ago, the land for the future development was under water.

"There was 4 and half feet of water on the black top road, which is the high part," he said.

KSLA News 12 reached out to Lucky Company engineer Joey French to see if as a result of the flooding, if anything, would change in the way the homes are built.

This was his response: "This flood event exceeded the 100 year (1 percent chance) storm by 9". Any homes built on there will have to be built 2 feet above the 100 year elevation so they would not have gotten water in them," French said in an email.

The Bossier Parish government is taking note of neighborhoods on the river side of the levee after the flooding issues at River Bluff, another riverfront neighborhood in North Bossier.

Police Jury President Jack "Bump" Skaggs says they are considering putting an emergency moratorium, or a temporary stop, to issuing all building permits between the levee and the Red River.

"The Police Jury, we are kind of the checks and balances for our own codes of ordinances. We are an executive and legislative branch of the parish so it is our duty when something does go wrong like that to really look at it," said Skaggs.

Skaggs explains the jury plans to speak with the public, a hydrologist, and other professionals that can weigh in on the issue.

"We want to make sure as we move forward, not only are developers having an opportunity to keep developing, but our public has an opportunity to be safe as well," he said.

Construction for the Red River Trace development has not started yet. As a result, Skaggs says this neighborhood would fall under the police jury's building permit moratorium.

"Mr. Lucky has always worked really great with the police jury, I have no doubt he will do what's right, to make it the best development he can," he said.

Even if the moratorium passes, if a homeowner has already gotten a permit and is in the process of building, they can finish the house. That includes homes still being built in North Bossier's River Bluff subdivision, which flooded last week. If a homeowner has a permit, but has not started building, the moratorium would affect them.

KSLA News 12 gave the Lucky Company several opportunities to comment about the flooding and possible moratorium, but they never returned our calls or emails.

The Police Jury will vote on the moratorium Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the police jury chambers in Benton.

The police jury only needs 7 votes to make the moratorium pass.

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