Dantin Bruce Development received the green light Monday from the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission to begin Valhalla, a 20-lot development on a 15.4-acre tract on the site of the failed Heritage Oaks development.
Brian Dantin with Dantin Bruce Development says the company hopes to close on the property before the end of the year and begin construction early next year. He says the project should take about six months, and he hopes to presell some lots before breaking ground.
Valhalla will be a high-end gated community near the intersection of Highland Road and Pecue Lane with a single entrance and boulevard running through the center.
The project came under some scrutiny a few months ago when some homeowners in that part of Highland Road and Pecue Lane asked the Metro Council to authorize the Planning Commission to study possibly rezoning that area from rural to REA1 to stave off high-density developments in the area. Rural allows for seven homes per acre, while REA1 allows for just one home per acre.
The residents pointed to Heritage Oaks, a proposed high-density development that was twice voted down by the Planning Commission, as something they had opposed. Valhalla, a low-density development, would have been affected by the rezoning because the plan calls for 1.33 lots per acre.
Dantin spoke against the blanket rezoning at the meeting, saying the zoning change would affect everyone, including those who did not want their property rezoned. Dantin tells Daily Report this morning that he has not heard any news about the issue and has been told it is dead.
The item came up at the Nov. 10 meeting, and the council punted it to the Nov. 24 meeting. Council administrator Casey Cashio says the item was deleted from the Nov. 24 agenda at the meeting.
Planning Director Frank Duke has previously stated he would not endorse the zoning change if most of the residents in that area did not support it, saying he would be taking development rights from them.