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Man: I was 'swindled' into buying worthless property

3 years 4 months 1 week ago January 15, 2014 Jan 15, 2014 Wednesday, January 15 2014 January 15, 2014 5:44 AM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

MAUREPAS - A man believes he was swindled into buying a piece of waterfront property that could turn out to be a worthless buffer zone for his neighbors in Livingston Parish.

Four years ago, Mark Martin bought a small lot on the Amite Diversion Canal.  There, he planned to build his dream-home.

"We came over the bridge and I was like, 'wow that is beautiful,'" Martin, a Methodist minister and cancer survivor said.

"This was our dream."

He said a contractor asked him to check if the land was a buffer zone for the condominiums next door. He said he did and the Livingston Parish Office of Planning sent him a letter stating the land was no buffer zone and it was a "buildable lot".

Martin also claimed through the entire purchasing experience he knew nothing about the land being designated as a buffer zone.

"We were within a week of throwing dirt down here and we got a call from the planning commission that said, 'wait a minute you can't do that because it is a buffer zone,'" he said.

Despite what he'd been told before, the site was listed as a buffer zone.

WBRZ News 2 attempted to find the man who sold the property to Martin, but we could not find him.

The Livingston Parish Planning Commission was split on a decision on whether to change the buffer zone designation to allow Martin to build recently.  Now, the full council will vote on the matter.

The issue will be discussed at the council meeting on Jan. 23rd meeting.

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