Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Used car lot goes up on someone else's property

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BATON ROUGE - Someone claiming to be the owner of a piece of property installed a chain link fence to store wrecked vehicles. The City-Parish says the property is zoned M1, which does allow the storage of wrecked vehicles for up to 180 days. But two other people say the property doesn't actually belong to the person claiming to be the owner.

The area near the corner of Tecumseh St. and Monroe Ave. is often a dumping ground for used tires, garbage and other items. It's been the subject of a couple of 2 On Your Side stories and WBRZ was also there when the City-Parish and volunteers picked up the mess. Days after the report aired, an educator who works nearby alerted WBRZ about what was happening.

The area in question is divided into a handful of lots. The fenced-in area appeared to include at least five of them. According to the EBR Tax Assessor's web portal, two of the lots are owned by the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority and another is owned by Tevin Wade of Wade Investment Enterprises, LLC.

"We started noticing the gate come up on the property and then cars being stored on the property," Wade said. "It was overnight."

The discovery was appalling to Wade, who has plans to buy more property from the EBRRA and build an office building to house Core Electrical.

"We still haven't got an answer on where the cars came from or if the person bought the cars," he said.

Chris Tyson, CEO of the EBRRA says the lots were acquired from the City-Parish after the taxes went unpaid. The plan is to revitalize the Plank Road corridor and rid the area of blight.

"We want to see businesses like Mr. Wade's flourish here and be able to develop and contribute to the neighborhood. And we also want to make sure that the message goes out that we're not going to tolerate blight in these neighborhoods," Tyson said. "I can't think of anyone who wants to live next to an abandoned car lot."

Which is why they filed a police report and hired a tow truck company to clear the vehicles from the lots. The next step is to remove the fence.

Since our last blight story about the area, the City-Parish says it's been keeping a close eye on the dumping.


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