Calcasieu Police Jurors consider property condemnations

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 8:55 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Two years may not be long enough for a lot of things, but local governments are starting to find it’s long enough to get going on cleaning up hurricane damaged structures in the area.

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury held a public hearing Thursday night on proposed condemnation of some twenty properties on the agenda. One on Flora Road was deferred for 30 days, and another may no longer be considered in need of condemnation.

When neighbors keep up their homes, they don’t want to live next to a dilapidated structure.

“Tear it down,” said a woman in one neighborhood, who did not want to be identified.

Calcasieu Code Enforcement Inspector David Robinson said people don’t want to live near deteriorating structures.

“We’re to the point where we’re two years out and a lot of these structures, nothing has been done. We do get complaints from the neighbors because they have repaired their property,” said Robinson.

Parish officials send certified letters and run legal ads in the paper to try to make sure the property owners are aware of their responsibilities and have been properly contacted.

The public hearing was a chance for property owners to show why the various properties should not be condemned.

“They would have to give us a detailed list of what they’re going to do to repair the home. That’s all the repairs, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, remodeling,” he said.

Once a property is condemned the owner has 30 days to demolish it or the parish will do it and send the owner the bill.

“Taxpayers have to pay for the demolition of the home. We then send out an invoice to the property owner. If the invoice is not paid, we then file a lien on the property,” said Robinson.

A lien is a legal claim you owe a debt that can interfere with selling the property, hurt your credit score and cause other problems.