News + Notes

Council Preview 12/2: More money for the Less Pay redevelopment, Downtown curfew for minors, revising the UDC

Illustration by Peter DeHart

The gist: A relatively lightweight pair of council meetings is again on deck this week: another developer looking for more public subsidies, new grants for the police department, and the administration seeking to establish new restrictions on minors relative to their use of electric bikes and scooters and late-night access to Downtown. Bigger news is on the horizon, though, as big issues are up for joint introduction, like approving a package of new revisions to the unified development code. (Reminder: Council meetings are on Wednesday this week and not the usual Tuesday.) 

City Council agenda
Parish Council agenda

The Bottle Arts Lofts developers want another $129,000 from the City Council. The request is reimbursement for stormwater management features to be installed at the redevelopment of the Less Pay Motel. The previous council approved a $1.5 million “loan” for this project with terms so favorable the incentive is effectively a grant. 

The City Council is receiving a report on the status of Festival International. Festival 2021 is already in disruption. Budget problems and the pandemic might force the festival to move or expand out of Downtown Lafayette. Last we heard, the final form of this year’s Festival is still up in the air, with possibilities ranging from another fully virtual festival to something in Youngsville and everything in between. 

More food options could be coming to north Lafayette. The Jockey Lot is asking the Parish Council to recognize it as an official state fair and festival. Gaining that recognition would allow it to have vendors offering produce and value-added food items. 

The Lafayette police secured more than $200,000 worth of grants. A trio of different grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

Some of the city’s traffic signals and electrical cabinets may be getting makeovers. Up for final approval is an ordinance to authorize the mayor-president to enter into a collaborative endeavor agreement with the Acadiana Center for the Arts to add public art to this public infrastructure. This is a continuation of an existing program you may have already seen around town.

The administration is taking another run at establishing a curfew Downtown for minors. It would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to be Downtown without adult supervision between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It’s been put on the agenda before but was pulled in part because of concern about its purpose and enforcement from a variety of stakeholders. It’s only up for introduction at this meeting, but it’s unclear if it has enough support from the City Council to pass.

There are a bunch of potentially complex and/or contentious joint ordinances up for introduction. Like raising the age for using electric scooters or bikes. Or reaffirming the mayor-president’s authority to make emergency appropriations in response to the coronavirus and hurricanes Marco, Laura and Delta. Or adopting a revised unified development code. 

Lafayette needs more volunteers for board seats. There are vacancies on a number of public institutions recently, like the Bayou Vermilion District and the Lafayette Science Museum. If these are entities you care about, here’s your chance to make a difference in determining their future:

Board/CommissionAppointerRequirements
Bayou Vermilion District CommissionCity CouncilAfrican-American
City Planning & Zoning CommissionCity Council
People’s Safety InitiativeCity CouncilDietician
People’s Safety InitiativeCity CouncilMedical doctor
Lafayette Waterworks District SouthCity CouncilDistrict resident
Lafayette Science Museum BoardCity Council