CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Caddo Parish Commissioner is seeking answers about the authority of the Metropolitan Planning Commission and whether the Caddo Parish Commission could oversee zoning laws instead.

Caddo Parish Dist. 4 Commissioner John-Paul Young says he’s acting on behalf of constituents who are unhappy with the MPC.

“A whole bunch of constituents who live in rural Caddo and outside the city limits have asked us to abolish their zoning,” Young said.

He recently introduced a resolution that requests an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General on whether the Caddo Parish Commission has the authority to function as a planning and zoning commission instead of the MPC. He said his constituents would prefer the elected officials over the appointed board.

“We have a long history of dissatisfaction of some appointed boards that operate planning and zoning in Caddo Parish,” Young said.

He said he found a provision under state law that would allow the Caddo Commission to act as the planning board, but clarity is needed from the attorney general.

“If we acted as a planning board ourselves, it would allow us not to use the MPC as planning board. There is still a question of whether we would use MPC staff, which are civil servants and not appointed board members to do that work.”

He said there are not a lot of zoning cases for rural parts of the parish, about a dozen per year.

“So we think probably a small number of people could handle that maybe more efficiently than the MPC does and at least without the history of dissatisfaction.”

The MPC still oversees Shreveport city limits, but after a recently approved change in state law authored by Dist. 1 State Rep. Danny McCormick, Caddo Parish is no longer legally bound to the MPC. Young is asking whether they can take this a step further by having the Caddo Commission take over. He said to please rural homeowners.

“I think there’s the feeling that in the countryside that zoning is a city phenomenon, which it is. And that the closer it gets to them, the less of the countryside there is left,” Young said.

Commissioner Young’s resolution did not advance at the last commission meeting. He said he’ll bring it up again at the next one.

But it may not be needed now. McCormick said he’s sending his own request to the attorney general to find out if the commission has the authority to act as the planning board or not.