Residents voice opinions on proposed Fontainebleau State Park development

Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 9:52 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Dozens were left at the door when a meeting for a proposed development in Fontainebleau State Park reached capacity.

Those who packed the community center were outspoken about their proposition.

Their concerns range from traffic and local economics to environmental and cultural.

The end of the meeting at Spitzfaden Community Center ended much like it began. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser getting a lot of pushback from those in attendance.

Nungesser says he showed up to the community center to address concerns about proposed development in Fontainebleau State Park.

“Ask the community to support it and elected officials support it, then we’ll look for a developer that will be able to build to the standard you see. If not, we won’t do it,” says Nungesser.

After, he says a feasibility study indicated the park might make a good spot for a money-making development. He says he intends on getting a group to determine what could be constructed there in an environmentally conscious way.

“We’re going to hire them. A consulting company that works with all the environmental groups as they did there. We’re getting a proposal from them. They are going to have a public meeting and set up a website. They’re going to look at one tenant, something like that to be built there without it. What would be the impact on the environment.”

But many residents and Louisianians who investigated in Fontainebleau State Park didn’t want to hear it.

“Why not save money and not do it? Because not everybody is represented here tonight,” said one resident.

Attendees criticized coordinators for not allowing more people to participate in the meeting. The community center reached capacity 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of six o’clock. Police and fire guarded doors, leaving dozens outside unable to enter.

Of those inside, only one spoke in favor of the idea. Others in opposition cited traffic, environmental, personal, cultural concerns and more.

“Just the fact we build this thing doesn’t mean anyone is going to come. We could pull those half the park and at that point, we’ll have to find people who want to come to Fontainebleau.”

Though Fountainebleau is sustainable, Nungesser says the revenue generated from the development would go to support and improve other state parks.

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