[StBernard] Moving on with recovery in St. Bernard Parish: An editorial
westley at da-parish.com
Tue Aug 7 18:07:42 EDT 2012
Moving on with recovery in St. Bernard Parish: An editorial
Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 9:34 AM
By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune
State and St. Bernard Parish officials are finally moving forward to put
many Road Home properties in the parish back into commerce, and that's the
The Louisiana Land Trust, the entity created to maintain flooded properties
sold to the Road Home program, is selling lots in St. Bernard for the first
time since Hurricane Katrina. The trust is also allowing buyers to build new
homes on the properties, lifting a prohibition on new home construction on
Road Home lots.
These are positive moves to get these properties out of the state's hands.
The trust has about 2,400 lots in St. Bernard, and state officials had been
pushing to sell them. That would reduce the $400,000 a month the state is
spending to maintain the properties. But local officials had been stalling,
arguing that flooding the market with empty lots would affect property
values of homeowners and selling the properties slowly would let the parish
better control development.
But the plan was always that the state would sell these properties, and
taxpayers can't continue paying exorbitant maintenance costs.
The current round of properties for sale in St. Bernard includes 447 lots,
or about a fifth of all Road Home lots in the parish. The state will field
offers of interest until Aug. 28, and if needed hold an open auction on Oct.
13. Officials need to announce a plan soon to also put the remaining
properties up for sale.
Properties that don't sell will be transferred to St. Bernard, and parish
officials need to move to complete a master plan for using these lots for a
public purpose or returning them to private hands.
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