- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A Lake Charles redevelopment agency wants to create a lot-next-door program

Like in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the American Press reports (https://bit.ly/1prX4rk), the goal is to give neighbors the chance to buy neighboring property that’s been abandoned. While in New Orleans, it was land bought by the state after Hurricane Katrina, in Lake Charles it’s property seized because taxes weren’t paid.

The Lake Charles North Redevelopment Agency would allow neighbors to buy a property that touches their own, is less than 6,000 square feet, and is irregularly shaped.

The buyer must not owe any taxes or liens on property in Calcasieu Parish.

City Council President Luvertha August says there are more than 300 blighted properties



Authorities say the goal is to start a pilot program this year.

“We’ve worked with city officials to make sure we’ve gotten all of the proper procedures and we’ve met all of the legal guidelines,” said Jerry Jones of the Lake Charles North Redevelopment Authority. “The board will have to approve everything in June, and I truly believe that’s going to happen.”

City Councilwoman Mary Morris said that getting the property back into private hands is better than the city paying to cut the grass.

“The contractors that tend to the properties aren’t in control of them. We’re in control of them. If they aren’t cutting the grass properly or taking care of those lots, that’s our problem as city officials,” Morris said.

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Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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