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Lafayette Saint
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lafayette
Member since Mar 2010
67 posts

Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Alright guys I'm beating my head against a wall here. Maybe the infinite wisdom of Tigerdroppings can assist.

TLDR: Lafayette Zoning and Development won't grant me an address because the property doesn't have a certified road that runs in front of it, rather a "glorified driveway" that leads to homes behind me. Gov says I need to create a private road, which requires an application signed by neighbors who won't oblige. Is there any legal recourse I can take?

So there's a public road, maintained by the parish government on the north side of Lafayette. After this 975' of road, the road kind of doglegs off, and then there are three 1.4 acre tracts of undeveloped land. One of those tracts is for sale. The problem is that after that dogleg, the parish doesn't consider that to be a roadway, rather they call it a "glorified driveway" that extends to two homes further down that driveway. Those two homes have an address of the public road.

LCG says that I'd have to turn that "glorified driveway" into a private road, which requires an application be submitted to zoning and development. That application requires all of the property owners that would border that private road to sign the application, and that's a hard no-go. I've knocked on doors and felt these neighbors out. Its mostly family land that's been in this family for three+ generations, and they're self proclaimed bull-headed people, who are perfectly content with things the way they are. They treat this land as if its theirs already, riding their four wheelers and horses through this land on a regular basis.

The properties beyond me who have the public road address are "grandfathered". I'm being told that since the implementation of UDC, which then became the LDC, Lafayette won't give permits to anyone who isn't off of a bonified roadway.

There are a few wrinkles that I don't know if they're relevant or not -- but I'm going to put them out there in case they matter. The property is illegally platted, meaning they were subdivided in 2015 and not submitted to Zoning because they can't technically be platted on that "glorified driveway". What is now illegally platted was once 7 different skinny lots that are now 3 wide lots and one skinny lot.

There was once a home on the property I'm looking to purchase, but that structure was torn down and removed. What remains is a small wooden shed and a water shed that houses a water well. I haven't dug super deep into trying to find out what that address was, because I'm being told the fact that the structure was removed prevents the grandfathering of that property.

The neighbors tell me that the parish actually brings equipment an maintains the road all the way down the glorified driveway, but public record only shows that LCG maintains the 975' of public roadway. So the workers go beyond what they're supposed to. I was really hopeful that I could find record of them going further to show the government that they're already treating it like a public road, but they've covered their bases there it seems.

My next step is to find the documentation at the clerk of court in regards to the public right of way that was granted to the properties beyond me, but I don't know if that will be helpful.

My dream scenario is that there's an attorney who's worked through a similar situation and that there's precedent in a court house somewhere that could help me to start a case against the parish, or maybe even against the other land owners, though the latter is much less desirable. Any recommendations on attorneys specializing in this area would be greatly appreciated.


Drop4Loss
Birds Eye Of Deaf Valley
Member since Oct 2007
3454 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
You must have legal, rightful access to the property

Get a surveyor to denote a "private servitude of access".

Yea that will be across others property, but property in LA cannot be landlocked.

"All" property must have a legal access
This post was edited on 1/11 at 8:36 pm


marinebioman
South Alabama Fan
Ocean Springs, MS
Member since Feb 2005
3342 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
It might not be your dream property if you have to deal with unreasonable neighbors...take that into SERIOUS consideration!


jfw3535
Bradley Fan
South of Bunkie
Member since Mar 2008
1112 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Totally agree with the other poster that the neighbors sound like total pains in the ass, making the property far less desirable. But if you do want to go through with this, get a good real estate attorney in Lafayette to look into it for you. It won't be cheap.


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Booyow
Member since Mar 2010
2788 posts
 Online 

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

my dream property,

quote:

neighbors who won't oblige

quote:

they're self proclaimed bull-headed people

quote:

The property is illegally platted



You and I have a different opinion of what is considered a dream property


Coon
Nicholls St. Fan
La 56 Southbound
Member since Feb 2005
18149 posts
 Online 

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Run, don’t walk away from this.


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140
Lafayette Saint
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lafayette
Member since Mar 2010
67 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
I believe I've got legal access, as there is a roadway that leads there but that LCG won't grant me an address on it. Is it possible that those two things can be different?


Sus-Scrofa
Arkansas Fan
Member since Feb 2013
3689 posts
 Online 

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Sounds like you found a place off the grid in plain sight!


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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13793 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Why is this a dream property? Honestly asking you never really described why you love it so much?

If your potential neighbors won't give you access you don't want to live there. End of story honestly. Those aren't great neighbors and if its starting off bad its more likely to get worse then better.


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gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
7812 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

You and I have a different opinion of what is considered a dream property




Totally agree with this. It's obvious the folks already living there don't want more neighbors by their actions.

It sounds like a potential show on "Investigation Discovery" where neighbors go down a dark path and one of them kills the other over a land squabble.


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10
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USA
Member since 2001
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Rando
USA Fan
When IPs were Visible
Member since Apr 2015
20765 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

Yea that will be across others property, but property in LA cannot be landlocked.

"All" property must have a legal access


That's not...entirely accurate.

I just reamed a mortgage company out of quite a few thousand over this.


marinebioman
South Alabama Fan
Ocean Springs, MS
Member since Feb 2005
3342 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
To reiterate my previous post, you will regret this decision every day of your life. I realize you may have your heart set on this land, but make this decision with your head, not your heart.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11712 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Your dream scenario is a nightmare: go back and read your own words carefully. This parcel of land was illegally subdivided, no provisions were made for right-of-way access. The neighbors are openly hostile to giving you ROW; the local government says that what you call a "road" is a private driveway.

Run, don't walk, away from this one. Even if you are legally entitled to RofW down the current driveway, do you really want to share property lines and an access road with people who are hostile? They're not respecting private property lines now--you think they're magically going to respect them once you buy the parcel?

All signs point toward this being a TERRIBLE idea. Move one from this one and try to be more clear-sighted about the challenges and drawbacks of other property you examine.


rgsa
USA Fan
n/w La.
Member since May 2015
1476 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
(no message)


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Lafayette Saint
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lafayette
Member since Mar 2010
67 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Maybe I've painted an irrational picture of the neighbors. Seems to be all you guys are grabbing onto here. I spent 30 minutes chatting with each of the two neighbors. They're country people who are proud of their great great grandfather's land. They were happy to come outside and chat with me and make small talk for a good while as i tried to warm them up and feel them out.

There are tons of qualities about this property that FAR outweigh the potential of the neighbors not being my best friends. I'd be building with family alongside of me, so I'm in no way deterred by the neighbors.


Wraytex
Baylor Fan
San Antonio - Gonzales
Member since Jun 2020
74 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
Try doing a reset with the neighbors. Maybe take them a (good) brisket for lunch and sit down and cover the history of the place and surroundings. Getting them to go over the good old days may have them warm up to you. Good luck whichever you decide.


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RoyalWe
LSU Fan
Prairieville, LA
Member since Mar 2018
1498 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

They're not respecting private property lines now--you think they're magically going to respect them once you buy the parcel?
This kind of stuff makes me want to buy the land with no intention to use but put a fence around it just to annoy the neighbors.

EDIT: I should add that my parents actually live on inherited land (four generations) and own a separate parcel (about 7 acres) right down the road from their home. They are surrounded by neighbors who are related and treat all of the property like their own. Recently one of them cleared a portion of their land and put all of the debris on my family's property. My parents don't actively use the land and haven't done anything about it but it pisses me off. My opinion is letting this kind of thing go unchecked emboldens their self-inflated opinion about their 'rights'. You're walking into a situation where you will definitely be the outsider which means you'll get it even worse. I'd stay away from this deal and find a different piece of land.
This post was edited on 1/13 at 8:32 am


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50
baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
13793 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

Maybe I've painted an irrational picture of the neighbors. Seems to be all you guys are grabbing onto here.


No it’s pretty simple. If you live in the country you usually don’t want a neighbor with only 1.5 acres. If said neighbor can only live there with your permission then not giving your permission is very easy.

You don’t have to be an ahole to not allow that situation. It’s very common not only in rural areas but all over.


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NASA_ISS_Tiger
LSU Fan
Huntsville, Al via Sulphur, LA
Member since Sep 2005
7460 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

It might not be your dream property if you have to deal with unreasonable neighbors...take that into SERIOUS consideration!


No truer words have EVER been spoken.

You can choose your land but you can't choose your neighbors.


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NOLALGD
Ark-Pine Bluff Fan
Member since May 2014
1618 posts

re: Trying to buy my dream property, but government.
quote:

You must have legal, rightful access to the property

Get a surveyor to denote a "private servitude of access".

Yea that will be across others property, but property in LA cannot be landlocked.

"All" property must have a legal access


I agree, but will add the OP also wrote:

quote:

There are a few wrinkles that I don't know if they're relevant or not -- but I'm going to put them out there in case they matter. The property is illegally platted, meaning they were subdivided in 2015 and not submitted to Zoning because they can't technically be platted on that "glorified driveway". What is now illegally platted was once 7 different skinny lots that are now 3 wide lots and one skinny lot.


So the properties weren't submitted to "zoning", I would bet legally this land is still 7 skinny lots. In that case he can't claim servitude of access to a parcel that does not legally exist. Does he have a copy of the illegal subdivision plat and/or know the surveyor of record?


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