Judge refuses to quickly end land dispute case

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A state District Court judge has refused to put a quick end to Broussard’s lawsuit challenging two 2010 annexations by the city of Lafayette.

District Judge Durwood Conque rejected Lafayette’s request for a summary judgment, which would have stopped the lawsuit from proceeding. So, barring a successful appeal, Lafayette and Broussard must surrender, settle or go to trial.

The issue centers on Lafayette’s acquisitions of southern tracts known as the Vieux Chenes annexation, after the city-owned golf course by that name, and the Plantation Oaks annexation, named for a subdivision. They were part of a series of land grabs by Lafayette, Broussard and Youngsville that followed the opening of the Ambassador Caffery Extension in 2010.

Broussard claims Lafayette’s annexations don’t meet the legal definition of “reasonable.” Broussard also sued over Youngsville’s annexation of a 60-acre tract. Lafayette went to court to block Broussard’s annexation of a small tract next to the Plantation Oaks subdivision.

Conque’s ruling listed some of the factors that go into deciding whether an annexation is reasonable, including the wishes of the affected residents.

“In regards to the Plantation Oaks Annexation, of the 291 acres in question, 166 acres are owned by people who have not requested annexation into Lafayette. They are being provided water and sewer from Broussard, electricity from SLEMCO, law enforcement by the Sheriff’s Department and fire protection from the city of Broussard Fire Department,” said Amy Jones, spokeswoman for Broussard city government of Broussard.

Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel and City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert had no comment.

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