Parish settles latest borrow pit lawsuitAug 14th, 2012 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: news
After months of litigation, the parish has reached a settlement with the Livaudais Company and Levee Materials LLC, as announced during the August 9 PPC meeting.
In March, the companies were denied a permit to excavate borrow pits at a Scarsdale Rd. site in Braithwaite.
The companies argued that everything in their application packet in line with the parish’s ordinance on the books, but several on the council believed that since backfilling was not apart of the plan, a permit should not be granted.
The Livaudais Company and Levee Materials LLC initiated a lawsuit against the PPC in April, and during the May 31 council meetingtheir permits were approved in globo with several other construction permits to excavate at their Braithwaite site.
Council members were tightlipped on the matter, citing advice from their legal team, but after being pressed by citizens on the matter, Councilchair Byron Marinovich offered a few details of the agreement reached.
“At first they wanted to come in and dig four pits and donate us the land again after,” Marinovich explained. “And after much negotiation, we came to an agreement that they were going to retain ownership of the property, retain liability for the property, and allow us use of a road we have back there that leads to a pump station.”
Other aspects of the settlement include an agreement that the two companies will backfill two of the borrow pits, and leave two of the pits open.
In other borrow pit related matters, the two new ordinances that aim to replace the current legislation– the culprit for many lawsuits– were deferred again.
One of the ordinances, offered by Councilchair Byron Marinovich, offers backfilling exemption to excavators if they sell their dirt for in-parish projects; and the second ordinance, offered by District 6 Councilman
Burghart Turner mandates backfilling across the board.
Although both items were deferred, it appears the council is gearing up to vote in the near future, as an ordinance lifting the six month moratorium on pits was introduced.