New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-12-03 08:43:04 –
Construction of a long-term planned embankment in southeastern Louisiana has been delayed by at least a month due to land disputes to complete the project.
The Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Embankment on West Shore is designed to protect the Parishs of St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, and St. James from the devastating storm surges of the East Bank during Hurricane Aida.
Times Picayune / New Orleans Advocate report The dispute is over the value of 364 acres owned by Nature Land Co. LLC, a company with partners that includes a former judge, a New Orleans lawyer, and a real estate developer.
The Lake Pontchartrain Levy District and Louisiana authorities have negotiated with Natureland for two years.
During this spring and summer, the US Army Corps of Engineers requested access to land to build a temporary road to the work site. The corps is in charge of a contract to build a $ 760 million embankment system that is 18.5 miles long.
If the land was not owned, the embankment district appeared in court in early November and expropriated the land for $ 492,800, a value set by appraisers employed by the embankment district and the state.
Natureland states that it has not determined the price of its assets and does not want to rush the involuntary acquisition process.
In April, the company filed its own proceedings arguing that Louisiana’s expropriation law should be declared unconstitutional. Nature Land’s management partner is Thomas Kliebert Jr. of Paulina, a former judge. is. John Cummings III, a New Orleans lawyer and developer, is also a partner.
Proceedings and delays in construction delayed 50 years of efforts to build the West Shore Embankment.
“The delay is disappointing and obviously these access roads are needed,” President Jacqueline Hotterd of St. John Parish said on Wednesday. “It’s a shame, given what the inhabitants of St. John had just experienced.”
Natureland said in the proceedings that even if the embankment area was given an easement to use its assets, it would not be able to reach half of the land when the embankment ended. The other half outside the embankment will lose its value as a location for future pipelines, the company said. Its potential pipeline income and recreational use of land represent the value of the company, the proceedings said.
The Natureland proceedings also challenge state law that allows embankment agencies, states and engineers to expropriate property that is not a river or stream. This change was made after Hurricane Katrina, ensuring rapid access to land for expanding and rebuilding embankments and flood walls in the New Orleans region.
On November 24, Judge Vercell Fiffie of St. John Parish dismissed the embankment district’s request for immediate expropriation of land. He ordered a December 17 hearing on the expropriation request and the Natureland proceedings.
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Land value dispute delays levee project near New Orleans Source link Land value dispute delays levee project near New Orleans