17th Street Canal Homeowners File Court Petition
Since the inception of the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East Board in 2007, the homeowners along the 17 Street Canal have attempted to work with the Board to address flood protection issues. The homeowners have maintained a strong presence at the Board meetings, speaking at every opportunity available. Thus far, the homeowners' efforts have been virtually ignored.
In 2008, the Board claimed a right of way on the homeowners' property to access and inspect the levee. The Board asserts that they have this right of way without the need to provide any compensation to the homeowner. The homeowners' trees and fences were removed, and they have been prevented from using thousands of square feet of their own property. Homeowners along the 17th Street Canal have been appealing to the Board for relief in having had their property rights taken away without any form of compensation. Unfortunately, the Board has demonstrated absolutely no interest in listening to or working with the homeowners. Now, the Board is attempting to exceed the scope of the right of way that it has claimed. The Board is planning to perform construction on the homeowners' property without any compensation. This far exceeds the simple right of way initially claimed by the Board.
From the inception of the Board's actions along the 17th Street Canal, the homeowners have maintained that the Board should expropriate the property needed for flood protection and provide them with fair market value pursuant to Louisiana and federal law. The Board has refused to proceed in this fashion. Yesterday, the homeowners were compelled to file a petition in district court to protect their property from additional intrusions and damages by the Board.
The homeowners are simply attempting to have the Board adhere to the law regarding the taking of private property. The homeowners are very disappointed that they have had to resort to this action in order to have their requests heard and to have their rights respected by the Board.
Additional questions can be answered by contacting the spokesperson for the group: Randy Smith (504) 525-2200.