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Livingston Parish land dispute decision worries homeowners on La Trace Road

1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, March 29 2024 Mar 29, 2024 March 29, 2024 10:29 PM March 29, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

LIVINGSTON PARISH - Neighbors in Livingston Parish have been battling over a road near French Settlement for years. 2 On Your Side first told you about the dispute on Louisiana Trace Rd. back in 2021. Property owner Wade Holden installed a gate blocking others from access. He claimed the road was private, and he was trying to keep criminals out. 

Now homeowners are upset after the parish council sided with Holden, saying the road is not public property. The decision could block people from their homes, again.

Lionel Guerin has lived in his home along La Trace Rd for nearly 30 years. He is one of dozens of property owners along the drag. According to property owners, the road was established in the 1970's, and folks have been using it since then. 

Three years ago when Holden put up the gate, Guerin was immediately affected. 

"I got ready to come home one day, and they had a chain up," he said. "I ended up staying locked out for over a year."

But as far as Holden was concerned, the road was on his land. He provided our Brittany Weiss with his own solution.

"They need to construct them a road and go thru Army Corps, pay the permits and all."

Angie Bourgeois owns land on the road. She says building a road around Holden's property would mean driving through wetlands.

"They're asking us to pass in the swamp instead of a road that has existed for all these years," Bourgeois said.

At the time the matter was put on hold when the parish council called it a civil issue. the gates stayed open.

Thursday night, at the Livingston Parish Council meeting, one side insisted the road was private. The other argued that even if the road is private, they still deserve access to their homes, but in the end the parish decided they didn't want to be involved.

"Their case has to be settled in a civil matter," one council member said. "This parish cannot continue to battle this over and over."

In the end, council members agreed property owners should have access to their own land, but the final say was not up to them.

"So this parish needs to get out of the middle of your situation -- from the road aspect and the swamp," a council member said. 

So for the property owners, they'll just have to wait for their day in court, a date that hasn't yet been determined.

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