GLEN RETIREMENT CENTER REJECTS LA D.O.T.D. / NLCOG PLAN FOR USE OF ITS LAND ON FLOURNOY-LUCAS RD. NEAR HWY. 3132 TERMINUSby Elliott Stonecipher
The Board of Directors of The Glen Retirement Center of Shreveport has formally notified the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD) that it will not participate in the plan of LA DOTD and the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG) to use its property for a new Flournoy-Lucas Road traffic interchange near the Hwy. 3132 (Inner Loop) terminus.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD) was made aware of the action by The Glen Board in a March 19, 2012 letter over the signature of The Glen’s President / Chief Executive Officer, Rhonda Beauvais. Ms. Beauvais’ letter was mailed to both the LA DOTD Deputy Secretary Eric Kalivoda, and 4th District DOTD Managing Engineer John Sanders.
The proposed LA DOTD / NLCOG project grew directly from the controversy surrounding the Hwy. 3132 extension to the Port of Caddo-Bossier, and would have included a joint entrance and exit on Flournoy-Lucas Road with the adjacent development, Esplanade. Esplanade is the highly upscale residential subdivision of Tim Larkin, a Bossier City Councilman.
The 3132 Coalition was given permission by The Glen to attach a copy of the letter to this e-mail (SEE LINK), following the confirmed receipt of the letter by those DOTD officials.
Larkin had worked with representatives of The Glen during 2008-2010 to reach an agreement on a joint entrance / exit, but – as confirmed to me by both The Glen and Larkin – the developer walked away from those negotiations in early 2010 after The Glen formally communicated to him the cost of the land Larkin wanted. To The Glen’s surprise, the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), on behalf of itself and LA DOTD, renewed the negotiations last summer, but with the cost of the project to be borne by taxpayers.
Without land from The Glen, Larkin would be left with the “right-in, right-out” two-lane road and curb-cut into Flournoy- Lucas Road, the only entrance and exit due him under related DOTD regulations. (SEE LINK) Larkin intends that such a two-lane road be used temporarily only, until the joint entrance / exit is hurried to completion by DOTD. Larkin has fought the two-lane limitation since he bought the subject 36.99-acre tract from Twelve Oaks developer Tony Janca in 2007.
The taxpayer-funded solution to Larkin’s limitation is, the 3132 Coalition believes, a key purpose in the continuing “study” of a 3132 Extension route. That $1,000,000, two-year study is the regulatory justification for LA DOTD to invoke “control of access” on a stretch of Flournoy-Lucas on both sides of the 3132 terminus into it. If the joint entrance / exit with The Glen is built for Larkin, a median-cut across Flournoy-Lucas will be also be constructed, providing access for commercial development of a 100-acre-plus tract of land across from The Glen, and adjacent to the Acadiana Place subdivision.
Based on its research, the Coalition believes the expected practice would be for all parties to await the final result of the two-year study, including the critical “environmental assessment,” before any construction such as the entrance and exit on Flournoy-Lucas, which is planned for Larkin. DOTD documents confirm that if the study ends with a “no-build” recommendation, or the recommendation of a 3132 Extension route which is other than to the south of Flournoy-Lucas, no such entrance / exit for Larkin would be justified. In spite of those facts, other documents confirm that DOTD intends to rush the project for Larkin. In the third attachment to this e-mail, Eric Kalivoda notes in the second paragraph of his August 3, 2011 e-mail that… (SEE EMAIL)
” … (DOTD) is working on the Stage 0 for the Glen/Larkin joint access road which will be handled separately from the Inner Loop Extension so as not to get caught up in the environmental assessment; we need to try to get the access road built as quickly as we can.”
Such contradictions lead the Coalition to believe the political clout of Larkin – especially his influence with and on LA DOTD – has been sufficient to nullify expected practice. Clearly, with a development said to be ultimately valued at $200,000,000, the taxpayers would not be logically or justifiably expected to pay any of the developer’s costs.
When such facts are on the table for public consideration, one fact particularly glares: when Larkin’s entrance / exit was to be built with his money, and The Glen communicated a price for its land to him, Larkin walked away. When contact with The Glen was re-established more than a year later, the non-profit organization found it was negotiating with NLCOG and DOTD, not Larkin, and The Glen was to be paid with taxpayer funds, not Larkin’s. (I personally attended a key such negotiation session, and Larkin was specifically not invited. What were certainly his private interests were very much at issue, and were represented and pursued by NLCOG.)
Such troubling facts may well have contributed to The Glen’s decision not to participate in such a venture.
That The Glen must now face the likelihood of a protracted expropriation of its land by DOTD, to benefit Larkin, places it on an already-long list of innocent bystanders potentially damaged in this matter.
(For additional detail on the Larkin development’s entrance / exit, go to Finish3132.com, scroll down to 3132apedia, click on “View All,” then scroll to and open the March 12, 2012 report.)
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest. No compensation of any kind has been solicited, offered or accepted for this work.