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Lawsuit claims new houses caused flooding; it shows tension over Livingston’s building rules | Livingston/Tangipahoa – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-12-06 05:00:00 –

Lindsey Lee says he lived in the Acadian Trace district of Albany for almost a decade without much worry about the floods, after which a new home was built.

Developers bought about 80 lots in 2019 and started raising two feet to build a house, leaving their home in the gully. Now, when it rains, she says that water flows into the streets, into her property, collects in the garden, infiltrates the garage, and sometimes through the front door.



Front porch puddle or Acadian Trace subdivision resident




She and her 13-year-old daughter were at stake every time it rained, remembering the 2016 flood that destroyed many homes in the Parish of Livingston.

“It just hurts my nerves,” Lee said.

Lee is one of twelve neighbors who have filed proceedings in federal court against developer DR Horton, its Gulf subsidiary, Livingston Parish Council, and homeowners of various academic traces. ..

All plaintiffs live in homes built before DR Horton took over the subdivision and began building new homes. Building those houses alleges to violate the parish ordinance.

According to the lawsuit, the change in the drainage channel “invaded the plaintiff’s house with sewage and other untreated water, damaging property as well as concerns about the health of the plaintiff and his minor children.”

“When driving a parcel, you can see that the sandbags are always piled up and ready to block the flow of water,” Lee said.



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Sandbags sit stacked on the driveway of a house that appears to be lower than the house next to Evangeline Lane on Thursday, December 2, 2021 in the Academic Trace District of Albany, Louisiana. In the United States, the company claimed that a new home built in the neighborhood caused a previously built home in a lower-elevation flood. On the other side of the sandbag-ready house, the house also appeared to be built higher.




Even after Dr. Houghton became aware of drainage concerns, the company was unable to take appropriate steps to correct the problem, the proceedings said.

DR Horton, National housing contractor The website says it has the characteristics of “from New Jersey to Hawaii” Complaints of Wrong building practices When Drainage problem Nationwide..

Plaintiffs argue that the company is able to build more homes cheaper because it circumvents land restrictions such as drainage regulations and construction legislation.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Jack Whitehead, Jr., said the company only cares about “their profits.”

“Historically, DR Horton has always been known to seek exemptions and changes. They are always seeking forgiveness, not permission,” he said. “They are notorious.”

As a result of these practices, the proceedings allege that the developers violated the Racketeer Impacted and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO.

The lawyer representing DR Horton did not return a request for comment. The developer has filed a motion to dismiss the proceedings, alleging that the plaintiff has not made a claim that falls under RICO.

The proceedings allege that the developer broke the parish law when the developer changed the drainage flow and affected the lower parcels. As a result, the Livingston Parish Council approved the wrong drainage plan and quoted in a lawsuit that DR Horton did not guarantee compliance with the Parish Ordinance after the Council was warned about water flow issues. it was done.

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Punching bags sit stacked on the driveway of a house that appears to be lower than the house next to Evangeline Lane on Thursday, December 2, 2021 in the Academic Trace District of Albany, Louisiana. In the United States, the company claimed that a new home built in the neighborhood caused a previously built home in a lower-elevation flood. On the other side of the sandbag-ready house, the house also appeared to be built high.




“Plaintiffs are suffering from loss of property value, mental and physical damage, and loss of confidence that the parish can protect its citizens,” the proceedings said.

Christopher Moody, a lawyer for the Livingston Parish Council, said: [the plaintiffs] However, he said the parish was “sensitive to the concerns and circumstances faced by these inhabitants.”

“They aren’t the only ones fighting the drainage problem in Livingston Parish,” he said. “But this seems to have been exacerbated by the actions of the co-defendant (DR Horton). We want to find a solution that is meaningful to them and work together as much as possible to resolve the case. I solved it. “

Private discussions took place at the Parish Council meeting just before Thanksgiving, but were postponed without comment.

Bigger problem

Complaints about drainage and residential floods are common in parishes, especially for those who have been struck by the 2016 flood. Parish’s growth has skyrocketed over the last decade and developers are keen to build.

Until recently, Livingston avoided major restrictions on what can be built and where. Until the new ordinance was passed in August this year, the parish did not have an important zoning law.

The Livingston people were basically able to make anything wherever they wanted.This is why it is changing

Some council members claim that the lack of planning and regulation has hurt the parish. New construction will bring more concrete and asphalt and can exacerbate floods.

Councilors are hesitant to avoid development altogether, but have taken steps in recent months to tighten guidelines for developers. A recent (and controversial) debate was whether to charge developers a one-time fee for a new project to fund offsite drainage.

Shane Mack, District 9 Councilor representing the Academic Trace Subdivision, was a major supporter of these wastewater impact rates. Members of other councils are seeking taxable districts to establish regular sources of funding to improve drainage.

“I don’t have to keep things as they are and not grow anymore,” he said. “But I’m growing steadily too. If others want to come to Livingston Parish, it’s safe because it has a very good school system … I’ll refrain from developing them. I’m not going to discriminate. “

He emphasized the need for a variety of stakeholders, including developers, to work together as a team to devise solutions that generate sustainable growth.

“The alternative is moratorium, and no one wants it,” Mack said. “No one wants to tell anyone that they can’t develop their property, but that’s an alternative.”



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The new home construction is behind the subdivision entrance marker of the Acadian Trace Subdivision in Albany, Louisiana. Some homeowners are suing the largest home developer in the United States. flood.




Lindsey Lee, the chief plaintiff in the proceedings, originally moved to a subdivision 10 years ago to start a family. Despite repeated floods to her vestibule, she still took time in December of this year to decorate her lawn with Christmas decorations, with a Christian message of hope hanging on the window. rice field.

But the last few years have made her tired and anxious. When she lends her name and filed a proceeding, she will take her daughter home and leave the Academic Trace forever.



Lawsuit claims new houses caused flooding; it shows tension over Livingston’s building rules | Livingston/Tangipahoa Source link Lawsuit claims new houses caused flooding; it shows tension over Livingston’s building rules | Livingston/Tangipahoa

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