RV Park Developer Sues Parish Over Land Use Dispute
A business owner who was denied a permit to open an RV park in Frenier, La., is suing St. John the Baptist Parish in state district court to overturn the decision, saying other parks were granted permits, even though they were not subject to similar scrutiny, according to The Times-Picayune.
The Parish Council voted down Light House RV Park LLC’s application on Feb. 9 after neighboring property owners said the park would hurt their property values.
The land for the proposed park is zoned C-2 for commercial use and did not need a zoning change.
The council has since voted to begin a land use study of the area on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain on Peavine Road, which council members say has the potential to attract high-dollar development.
Frenier, a small community north of Interstate 10 at the end of Lake Pontchartrain, has seen the development of several restaurants and waterfront homes in recent years.
Planning and Zoning Director Michael Henderson also said the creation of the business would put a burden on parish officials who would have to monitor how long customers were staying at the park, because federal requirements say that recreational vehicles cannot remain longer than 180 days at a location subject to tidal flooding, or V-zone.
Light House owner Louis Lipps, who owns a restaurant across the street from the proposed park, said in his complaint that the parish arbitrarily denied his project because of political pressure and that other parks were permitted without going through so many steps and meeting so many standards as his.
Lipps’ proposed site is within 100 feet of another RV park.
Parish officials said in February that the permit for that park was granted by the Nickie Monica administration.
Lipps said his company met “each and every requirement” set by the parish, but was denied.
The suit has been assigned to Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.