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COUNCILWOMAN SEEKS ESTABLISHMENT OF NORTH BATON ROUGE DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

Councilwoman Chauna Banks seeks to create a North Baton Rouge Development District modeled after the successful Downtown Development District. The Downtown Development District is funded by a special ad valorem (property) tax approved by the voters within the boundaries of the district, was authorized by State Statute LSA R.S. 33:2740.8.

“We all know the success of the David Rhorer and the DDD, I believe the creation of a NBR Development District is what is needed to drive the development of north Baton Rouge and be the catalyst for a prosperous, stimulating, innovative voice for this portion of the parish’, says Councilwoman Banks.

The Council doesn’t have the authority to authorize the creation of a special taxing district without State enabling legislation. Councilwoman Banks stated, “My first step in that process is to reach out to the legislatures representing north Baton Rouge and advocate for introduction of a bill to authorized the creation of such a district in north Baton Rouge.

Representative Regina Barrow authored ACT 98, which creates a new economic development district for the North Baton Rouge area, however, no funding was attached to the bill and it hasn’t proved to benefit the area in the capacity that is needed.

After decades of rapid real estate development, especially in south Baton Rouge, a major factor has emerged. “There’s just not a lot of available land,” says Brian Danton, a partner at Bruce Dantin Development. “And what is available is really expensive.”

Dantin shared his prediction as part of a panel of eight community leaders who recently sat down for an editorial roundtable discussion with 225 as part of the magazine’s 10th anniversary issue.

225 Publisher Julio Melara, Editor Jennifer Tormo and contributing writer Maggie Heyn Richardson recently met with Dantin and the others and asked them to predict what the next 10 years will look like for public education, food and entertainment, health care and more in Baton Rouge.

Councilwoman Banks sees this as an excellent opportunity for north Baton Rouge to create a sustainable development district to prepare for the inevitable shift.