Because the Director said so

August 15, 2011

   Article I Section IV of our Louisiana Constitution states:

 Right to Property

   Section 4. (A) Every person has the right to acquire, own, control, use, enjoy, protect, and dispose of private property. This right is subject to reasonable statutory restrictions and the reasonable exercise of the police power.

(B)(1) Property shall not be taken or damaged by the state or its political subdivisions except for public purposes and with just compensation paid to the owner or into court for his benefit. Except as specifically authorized by Article VI, Section 21 of this Constitution property shall not be taken or damaged by the state or its political subdivisions: (a) for predominant use by any private person or entity; or (b) for transfer of ownership to any private person or entity.

   Also Article 667 of the Louisiana Civil Code states::

   Although a proprietor may do with his estate whatever he pleases, still he cannot make any work on it, which may deprive his neighbor of the liberty of enjoying his own, or which may be the cause of any damage to him.  However, if the work he makes on his estate deprives his neighbor of enjoyment or causes damage to him, he is answerable for damages only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his works would cause damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care.  Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.  Nonetheless, the proprietor is answerable for damages without regard to his knowledge or his exercise of reasonable care, if the damage is caused by an ultrahazardous activity.  An ultrahazardous activity as used in this Article is strictly limited to pile driving or blasting with explosives.   Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 1, §1, eff. April 16, 1996.

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This is pretty straight forward and easy to grasp even by someone not up to speed on laws and ordinances, yes? There are some more educated than myself that will argue they can adopt a plan with the citizens best interest as the main goal and in doing so, usurping the guaranteed rights of the very people they profess to protect. The people in question are the citizens of Calcasieu Parish and many, including those appointed to review this new plan, are not happy with the regulations the parish wishes to impose on all future business and residential development in the unincorporated portions of our parish. Under current regulations in place, a citizen not satisfied with the rulings of our planning department, as a last resort may appeal their grievance to the 14th Judicial Court. If approved as written by our Jurors, most who have not attended a single public meeting during the review process, this new plan will give the DRC (development review committee) the authority to recommend action with the Director having total control over the final decision to allow or deny a permit to develop. If approved by the Director, then it must also be approved by our police juror body. If denied, our elected officials will never know it took place and further removing any legal recourse for an applicant to appeal this decision.

If you are still in disbelief of the last paragraph you are not alone. I appeal to you to protect your rights as property owners and developers and take a stand against any such plan, in any parish or county, that removes your legal recourse of action and places it in the hands of unelected persons that answer to no one but themselves. This has become a major concern in Calcasieu Parish and I can’t stress enough the ramifications that will follow should our jurors approve and adopt this plan without serious alterations to its content and the protection of private property rights. I make no bones about it, were I a seated juror this would receive my NO vote. Enough has not been done to guarantee these rights and I refuse to remain silent while we let more slip away.

Mark Parham

Calcasieu Parish

Police Juror Candidate

District 2[ad]


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