Complaints about “junk” in one man’s yard prompts review of nuisance ordinance

CATAHOULA, La. (KLFY) – Repeated complaints about one St. Martin Parish man’s “junk” have officials reviewing the nuisance ordinance.

On Pete Guidry Road in St. Martin Parish, residents are fed up with one of their neighbors who repeatedly parks cars on the road and blocks travel lanes. After several complaints to local law enforcement and parish officials, they spoke exclusively with News 10.

The offender works as a part-time mechanic, fisherman and even sells recovered sunken cypress logs.

His neighbors say they don’t have a problem with the large amounts of car parts and wood. It’s when the debris spills over onto the roadway that problems arise.

“People have been getting flat tires because he works on his vehicles in the road, so you get nails and pieces of iron in people’s tires,” one resident, Lon Theriot told KLFY.

Theriot says the equipment and car parts scattered around the yard doesn’t bother him:

“The biggest thing is, it’s come on to the road and we’re having trouble to pass. We’re getting flat tires and we having to get in arguments. Nobody wants to argue with people, we’re having to get in arguments with him to get things moved.”

The property owner has been cited nearly half a dozen times for blocking travel lanes. And he’s even been asked to attend parish council meetings to amend the problem, but he was a no-show.

Now, parish officials are looking for ways to modify the nearly 20-year-old nuisance ordinance.

“Maybe stiffening up our fines a little bit. There’s a way that if we were to fine him a certain amount of money, we can attach it to his property tax bill,” St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier said.

Normally that process is used for overgrown properties.

President Cormier says, currently, there’s not an ordinance in place that would allow the parish to clean up nuisance issues like abandoned cars.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community, or you simply need a question answered, Dial Dalfred at (337) 262-0868 or tweet him @DialDalfred.

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