Land eroding around lake, no one taking responsibility
ST. GABRIEL - Some people are worried their homes are going to be washed away. Backyards are eroding into a neighborhood lake and no one is taking responsibility.
Some homeowners say they bought in Spanish Lakes because it's quiet and far enough away from traffic gridlock in Baton Rouge.
"It's a beautiful area," said Sean Sanders.
Tucked away in the St. Gabriel neighborhood is a lake, which many homes back up to. Sanders has lived on that lake for over four years and says during that time he's seen his land, slip away.
"You can clearly see the land is falling in right there," he said.
Around his piece of paradise, land is eroding. It's breaking off piece by piece and washing into the lake behind his house. Near the end of July, Sanders says he put stakes in the ground marking the end of the property. Today, those stakes mark where about a foot of land has washed away since then. In some areas, up to ten feet of property has washed away into the lake.
Sanders says it's all happening too fast for his liking.
"It's getting worse and worse, so something has to be done about it," he said.
That's where Sanders and his neighbors are stuck.
"Right now it's a finger-pointing game," he said.
Each year, Sanders pays about $450 in HOA fees. He says that money should be used to fix something like the eroding property around the lake.
A company called Community Management, LLC manages the Spanish Lakes neighborhood and provides administrative work. It says it can't do anything to fix the erosion because the developer hasn't turned over the lake property to the homeowners.
Representation for Community Management suggested 2 On Your Side contact the developer of Spanish Lakes. David Law is currently an owner of Destiny Interests, LLC and did not return calls from WBRZ.
"They're pointing the finger at the developer and the developer is pointing the finger back at the Homeowner's Association," said Sanders.
Homeowners living around the lake do not own a portion of the lake. The lake restrictions say, "Each lake lot owner shall be responsible for maintaining the area between their rear property line and the lake's edge." This includes mowing the grass.
To Sanders, the land restrictions are clear, which say, "The association shall manage, operate, care for, maintain and repair the common area to keep the same in a safe, attractive and desirable condition for the use and enjoyment of the owners."
If he could, Sanders says he would install a bulkhead.
"It's kind of sad that we have no power to fix this," he said.
Instead he's forced to watch his property sink.