LEGAL CORNER: Is it legal for construction to cause noise in my neighborhood until 3 a.m.?

LEGAL CORNER: Is it legal for construction to cause noise in my neighborhood until 3 a.m.?
(Source: KPLC)

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QUESTION: I have a neighbor that mistreats her dog; sometimes his food is covered in fire ants and he has no water. He took off 3 times and I received a criminal trespass warning for returning their dog. Is there anything I can do about them?

ANSWER: Yes, they are in violation of two Animal Control Ordinances: 5650: 5-1 Cruelty, (Cruelty includes the failure to provide (1) food (2) shelter (3) water); and 5-47 Dogs Running At Large – Prohibited.

You can file a complaint by visiting the parish's website: cppj.net – click on "Services" and then "Animal Services". It provides a link file a complaint.

You may also want to gather evidence that you can share with the animal control officer, such as:

  • a log of the dates and times you saw the animal mistreated
  • any other witnesses
  • pictures of the dog being denied the basics
  • pictures of the dog running loose

QUESTION: We own our home outside the city limits. Do we need a permit to build a privacy fence? What are the guidelines for building any other structure like an outdoor kitchen with sleeping quarters on our property?

ANSWER: As the question is asked, no governmental permit is required. However, you may be in a neighborhood or area that is governed by parish zoning ordinances. Call Parish planning before you start and verify that you do not need a permit. Regarding the other structures, there is a variety of areas that do require permits:

  • Construction/remodeling
  • Moving a home or building
  • Installation of electrical wiring, mechanical equipment, plumbing, piping, gas piping
  • Demolition/re-roofing.

Warning: if you build something that requires electric wiring or plumbing, and do not have proof that you acquired a permit, they will not hook up your water or electricity.

You can find this list on the Parish's website here.

The parish can also be contacted by calling 337-721-3500.

It is also possible that your home and lot may be governed by building restrictions or deed restrictions. Review your closing documents, abstract (if you have one), and or homeowner's association rules (if one exists) to verify that will not be in violation. It's always a good idea to consult a real estate attorney and verify that you will not have a problem before you start construction.

QUESTION: Is it legal for a construction building a new business to operate in a residential neighborhood during the week until 3-4 a.m and in another instance start work the week at 1 a.m.? Cops were called but it wasn't shut down.

ANSWER: It is NOT legal. Parish Code Article 18-100 (4) says it is a violation to have: "Construction within 165 feet of a residence between sunrise and sunset during weekdays, and 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekends and holidays, except during emergencies."

If you call law enforcement, you may want to print out the statute for them so that they do not have to search for it (took me a while to find it).

If within city limits, the law is even more restrictive:

Sec. 13-7-1 prohibits construction between the hours of 7:00 pm and 5:00 am on weekdays, and before 7:00 am and after 4:00 pm on weekends.

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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