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North shore residents clash with developers and council over Port Marigny project

MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) -

The honeymoon between some Mandeville residents and the once popular project on the lakefront is over. 

Thursday, dozens of people pushed back at the Port Marigny development near the Causeway.  

The plan is to build on 42 of the 73 acre lot that used to be a concrete manufacturing facility. 

The proposed development would include 416 living units, 60,000 square feet of commercial space, a marina, green space as well as a possible hotel on the city's lakefront.

Many residents argue the big development will ruin their small town feel. 

"The outside of town has been ruined, but if you come back in to the old part of Mandeville, it's the same as it was when I was a kid," resident Susie Wiedeman said. "But if they build Port Marigny, it's going to ruin that. It's going to be like anyplace U.S.A." 

"The traffic on Monroe St. will be unbearable," resident Ann Marie Fargason said. 

Port Marigny would no doubt increase traffic in the small community of Old Mandeville with the possibility of bringing in hundreds of families to the quiet lakefront. 

But developers say if they made the project any smaller they would fail to profit off the multi- million dollar investment. 

"This has to be constructed, cleaned and made into a project that's going to be profitable, and that's property rights. That's fairness and we're working with the city. We're doing this exactly in accordance of what city law dictates," spokesman for the developer James Hartman said. 

"I have not met anybody who wants it to stay a concrete block everyone wants it developed. Most people want the density to come down a little bit," council chair Clay Madden said. 

Madden and his fellow council members are reviewing the project. The chairman agrees Port Marigny is well within the city's zoning laws. 

"I think it's been long and tedious but necessary. We covered our bases. We've researched this very well and we're going to make the best decision for both the developer and the constituents," Madden said.  

Council members also say they want zero adverse affects on the community. 

But as the city accommodates the developers by granting them servitude on sections of land to build Port Marigny, residents feel their concerns are not being heard. 

"We want considerable less density. I don't think they'll do it," Fargason said.  

"They've said they aren't going to shrink it so I doubt their going to shrink it. So if that's the case I'd just rather they not put anything there at all," Wiedeman said. "I'd rather there be something there though."

If this project is approved, it would take years to construct. 

There is also talks of the adjacent property also being developed by the landowner into condos. 

The council hopes to make their final decision on the project by Thanksgiving this year, according to Madden. 

There is a special council meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue. 

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