Proposal to rezone former golf club for Lakes at Legacy subdivision fails, but may be reworked | News


A plan to rezone a part of the former Sherwood Forest Country Club to build a 276-lot subdivision on the site was unanimously denied Monday by the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission.

But the plan is not dead yet.

More than 100 residents turned out Monday night to speak against the proposal. They cited concerns the development could make drainage problems in the area worse, cause traffic disruptions and lower home values. 

Developer Art Lancaster had originally wanted to build the Lakes at Legacy subdivision over an 87-acre section of the now-shuttered golf course. 

Lancaster at first sought to rezone the property as rural so he could build narrower lots that made the development economically feasible. Some nearby residents said they were concerned a rural rezoning would open the door for things such as shooting galleries, mobile home parks and sno-ball stands.

Lancaster then asked the commission for an A2.7 rezoning, which allows for 50-foot-wide lots as opposed to the 75-foot- wide lots the current A1 zoning requires. That request was denied. 

Mickey Robertson, the civil engineer for the Lakes at Legacy, told the commission he expects to return with a plan that satisfies the existing A1 zoning requirements. 

After months of delays, a controversial plan to rezone part of the former Sherwood Forest Country Club to build a 276-lot subdivision on the s…

The commission was originally set to consider both a rezoning request and subdivision plan. However, shortly after the public hearing began Planning Director Frank Duke said it was discovered that a signature was missing for a piece of property affected by the subdivision plan, a technicality that meant the commission couldn’t act on the measure. 

The denial of the rezoning request also had the effect of killing the subdivision plan. 

Members of the planning commission cited the overwhelming public turnout against the proposal in their decision to deny the requests. More than 1,300 residents of Sherwood Forest signed a petition opposing the development and dozens turned out to speak publicly. 

“If this proposal goes through, instead of being ‘BR proud,’ I will be ‘BR gone’,” said Jane McDaniel, a resident of Sherwood Forest. 

Richard Empson, president of the Sherwood Forest Citizens Association, said the proposed subdivision would disrupt natural drainage and create a “ghost neighborhood” the next time there’s a major storm. 

“I’m asking you, please, unanimously deny this rezoning,” Councilman Scott Wilson, whose district includes the proposal, urged the commission. “It’s overwhelming. You see the opposition. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”

The Lakes at Legacy had been modified since it was first introduced in August. A second entrance onto Ashbourne Drive was added; a drainage servitude at the back of the development was widened from 15 feet to 50 feet; a buffer between homes and the Foxcroft subdivision had been expanded by an acre; and a few lots were shaved from the original plan.



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