A plan to redevelop a former bank building at the Four Corners area of Lafayette into what residents feared would become a convenience store and gas station was voted down Monday.Lafayette Consolidated Government's City Planning Commission voted 3-1 to deny approval for Glomax LLC for the old Chase bank development on 1927 W. University Ave. after surrounding residents showed up to speak out against the project during a meeting.About 60 residents attended the meeting to object to the owner's request, which involved combining five lots on the property into one for commercial purposes.
According to Lafayette Consolidated Government officials, early discussions indicated the owners were considering a convenience store with gas sales, which is allowed in the current zoning.Glomax's owners, who bought the property in September, have not filed an official proposal for the property, but they also own a gas station and convenience store in DeRidder.Commission members cited concerns over the future of the neighborhood and ability for future businesses to redevelop the area, environmental concerns and increased traffic for the small neighborhood streets. Those in attendance cheered after the vote was taken.'One of our shortcomings is for our historic places to become blighted in the first place,' Gigi Sonnier said. 'I feel lucky to live there.
This development…will just be taking what is happening on North University and taking it to our neighborhood.'Twelve residents spoke against the approval, citing safety issues posed to children in nearby Myrtle Place Elementary School, crime, increased traffic and environmental concerns from possible fires and gas leaks. Twenty-three residents attending wrote to disapprove, and another 25 emails were submitted in opposition.'We want to support businesses in our community (but) great new business,' resident Sam Oliver said.Matthew Foster, who represented Glomax at the meeting, said they will consider appealing the decision, which would go to the Lafayette City Council. He declined further comment.