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The aforementioned parties involved in Eden Isles STR's (in my opinion) are absolutely running an illegal operation and at the very least subject to civil lawsuit and per occurrence monetary damages.
I personally went to the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse in Covington and pulled copies of the covenants for Eden Isles many years ago because I did not receive a copy at the act of sale when we purchased our home in 2008. All residents should strive to adhere as much as possible to the covenants to preserve the quality of our neighborhood. You can review the covenants here: http://www.datakik.com/eihoa/Documents/Covenants/covenant%20research.htm
While much has been said about the enforceability of our covenants let me clear up some of those misconceptions. As originally provided, the covenants designated the "Architectural Committee" (first appointed by the developer) as a stand alone governing authority to be independently elected by the property owners. This entity is separate and apart from any subsequent formation of an HOA or in our case Civic Association. Note, a true and legally binding HOA must be defined in the property's deed, or subsequently voted on by all of the property owners and entered into the legal courthouse records. No one can alter your deed without you agreeing to it.
Following Hurricane Katrina formalities were replaced by necessities and the Architectural Committee was allowed to disband. However, that did not cancel the enforceability of the covenants. To the credit and vision of the developers the covenants included the provision that any property owner had the right to enforce the covenants. Any property owner can sue an offending party relative to a breach of the covenants. Such a breach would especially include misuse of a home by running a commercial operation that disturbs the neighbors or the community.
At the final hearing on the STR issue before the council I entered a copy of the original covenants recorded in the courthouse as part of my statement. I wanted the council to know that not only did their ordinance clarify that STR's were commercial operations akin to an unsupervised micro hotel but that in Eden Isles that sort of property use was prohibited via deed of ownership since the inception of our neighborhood as of record filed on May 24, 1973.
In summary STR's are not only illegal but have always been so. You have the ability to stop this but the offended party must take action. Unfortunately, in the lack of parish enforcement, you must bring a civil suit against the offending party. I doubt that someone who's life has been damaged by a STR would have any problem attracting donations to support the expense of court action. I also think in the case of Eden Isles that a letter of condemnation from the HOA to the Louisiana State Bar Association is in order.
... Lee Longstreet
Notes: - Reference material at www.eiohforum.com , "community", "STR" - Links may not work from nextdoor. Copy them and enter them into your browser.
On March 26th you will be asked to continue a 35 mil Fire District One tax for ten years. This tax is in addition to the yearly $39 Fire District parcel tax that we also pay. The fire tax is our second highest property tax. The fire tax equates to approximately $700 per year for a home assessed at $260K.
Before you vote on March 26, please look at your property tax assessment, and ask yourself why are you paying the fire district three times more than you paying the sheriff's department? Both agencies provide community protection at high personal risk to the dedicated men and women who serve and protect. The difference is in the agencies' structure and management.
We have one sheriff for all of St. Tammany Parish, but 13 fire districts, each with its own Chief and administrative staff and overhead. We need a fire department that is fiscally responsible and recognizes the need to balance good protection with affordability.
It's time to slowdown the fire district's extravagant spending and demand a tax reduction before renewing the fire tax. Vote "NO" on March 26!
The fire district's rating is a bogus argument to justify their high budget cost.
The fire district has stated many times, their fire rating is saving us money on our homeowner's insurance. So I called my homeowner's insurance company and asked them how much value they place on fire department ratings and how much money does it save me?
My insurance company said a fire rating is just one of dozens of parameters used in determining cost, and the fire department ratings have little impact on the cost of home insurance. Fire damage is low risk (unless you live in the California Mountains). Wind, hail and flood damage claims are a much higher risk in Louisiana, and insurance companies are more concerned about, the type of construction and age of structure when pricing their insurance risk verses cost.
Even if the fire department rating was lowered, my homeowner's insurance increase would not be a tenth of the $700/year* I'm paying the fire department.
Do the math. Call your insurance company and ask them how much the fire department's rating is saving you; then look at your tax bill and see how much it is costing you.
Vote "NO" and force the fire district to come back with a reasonable, affordable and justifiable tax.
... letters to the editor - published, Slidell Independent Feb. 2020
Why won't voters approve additional taxes?
I think business minded voters realize that both St. Tammany and the State of Louisiana have the same problem. The parish and the state both enjoyed the slush of unexpected sales tax revenue following Hurricane Katrina restoration and simply found ways to spend it. Results were new office space, higher salaries, additional employees and expanded benefits packages. Then when sales tax hit 10% it was "game over". Blame that on Governor Edwards. Voters had enough and now won't vote for any taxes.
In recent years the influx of new residents less impacted by homestead exemption have contributed to a permanent increase in the tax base. They have more expendable income and pay more in property taxes. Again, business minded voters know the parish is receiving more in taxes these days because of population growth.
St. Tammany is one of the highest taxed parishes in one of the highest taxed states in the nation and yet the money is consumed within it's overhead with too little left over for doing work for the tax payers. Until recently the St. Tammany parish public works department was rarely seen doing anything in the unincorporated eastern part of the parish. That contributed to voter apathy.
Streets had embarrassing potholes and striping had faded away. They did not bother to change the lights on the interstate and even just let the light fixtures fall off the poles. It is still a rare occasion to see a public works vehicle, much less doing anything. And neighborhoods are intimated into maintaining the medians on public streets. You just don't see that level of neglect elsewhere. In Jefferson, Kenner and the Mississippi gulf coast you will always see public works vehicles maintaining and repairing whatever is needed to keep public property in good shape.
Several things need to be done to fix the revenue problem.
The first step is comparing yourself to other areas and realizing there is a problem.
A lot of the problem is with dedicated taxes. "We" foolishly seem to vote that way. We need an unbiased, non-political, office of independent inspector general. The inspectors general's primary mission would be to review the allocation and funding appropriateness of the various parish agencies. The end goal would be a ballot proposal to reallocate dedicated taxes based upon a needs and appropriateness basis.
In today's political environment it's flabbergasting that so many people do not understand how money is created. Business creates the jobs and the money. More business equals more money. One ignored opportunity would be to develop the Slidell lakefront.
Maybe it's time to put back on the ballot the issue of a Lakefront Casino as a tax revenue generator. All too many St. Tammany residents go to Mississippi to spend their excess income. Let's think about why they go to Mississippi and fix that. Our residents should be given the opportunity of spending their money at home where it benefits us instead of taking it out of state. The permit for a casino could be linked to the requirement that they build a beachfront barrier island for public recreation which would also help with storm surge.
Submitted by: Lee Longstreet
------------------------------------------------- 2022 notes: Casino proposal failed Former State Senator Crowe still pushing for Slidell Lakefront development - see www.datakik.com/marinepark Maintenance issues have improved due to public awareness and push from the Moonraker Island Civic Organization
Short Term Rentals in Single Family Zoned Neighborhoods
Consistent with the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance short term rentals have never been a permitted use in any zoning district.
While short term rentals may be appropriate in certain commercial, mixed use and permitted rural overlay areas they are not compatible with residentially zoned areas, especially subdivisions zoned for single family residential use.
Short term rentals are business operations whereby there is a flow of temporary stays by visitors for revenue akin to the operation of a hotel and as such should be subject to the same plot development standards such as parking, building setbacks, construction standards, etc.
Problems with short term rentals:
Reality of the short term rental: Because of the lack of supervision associated with short term rentals and because there are 2 or more rooms in a home, they draw groups that routinely have more of an impact than the typical hotel occupant which is in itself obviously commercial.
They are visitors mostly coming to party and use the property as a cheap event venue hosting many more people than a home would typically support. Sometimes it turns into an "Animal House" - boisterous public behavior, live bands or DJ, outdoor drunkenness, cursing, drug use, karaoke, sexually suggestive behavior, use of watercraft with no experience, trespass upon and invading the privacy of neighboring property, block access to parking and strange people giving neighbors that creepy feeling.
Community: Short term rentals are occupied by visitors that have no vested interest in the community and because their stay is temporary are not typically concerned with the impact they have on neighboring homes. For the same reasons they cannot register to vote. In the end "visitor" and "resident" are and will always remain different words legally and otherwise.
Crime: Short term rental occupants are visitors and therefore local law enforcement does not have a "heads up" of possible incoming criminal activity.
Sometimes short term rentals are booked by a "clean party" that passes credit and other background checks only to turn around and invite more in mass to join in. It is impossible for the booking agent to know the character of these additional guests that seem to just show up.
Short term rentals are magnets for illegal and unwanted activities. There could be off-site gambling, drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes, sexual predators, criminals on the run, etc. Under the short term rental atmosphere Sex Offenders skirt the lawfully required notice to the community as required by Louisiana law yet they are staying maybe 10 feet from your bedroom window with no on-site supervision at all.
Traffic: Traffic is substantially impacted by Short Term Rentals. Because the occupant's stay is temporary they are running here and there to different attractions and to pick up last minute items. Multiply this by the rush mentality and number of occupants and the amount and nature of the traffic suffers.
Property values: No family is going to knowingly buy a family home next door to a short term rental, it destroys the single family home atmosphere. Those wishing to sell after a neighboring home goes "short term rental" will find that only another short term rental will purchase their home. This spreads like a slow moving cancer destroying a neighborhood.
Intended Use and Enforcement by the parish: Single family residential construction most often occurs in high density subdivisions whereby homes are often separated by as little as 10 - 12 feet. Such close spacing precludes parking facilities supportive of gatherings typically associated with the short term vacationing, partying or event atmospheres. These same types of gatherings often damage the peaceful family oriented atmosphere protected by zoning ordinance.
Why are the zoning laws not being enforced right now? There is nothing more important or personal to a resident than his home. Not respecting the zoning already in place is not only a violation of law but also a violation of public trust in our elected officials. Some have said that enforcement is difficult. I think not.
Structures are permitted, inspected and purpose built. When construction is completed a Certificate of Occupancy is issued before occupancy can take place. Construction specifications as well as its intended purpose both affect the Certificate of Occupancy. If a structure is subsequently used for a different purpose its Certificate of Occupancy can be pulled until the structure comes into compliance. If all else fails this is a tool that may be used to force compliance.
If a property zoned as "single family residence" is advertised as a "Short Term Rental", or any other non-conforming use, or a complaint is confirmed then code enforcement simply places a "Cease and Desist" notice on the property. If that is ignored then a summons to appear in court is issued whereby a fine per occurrence is issued along with the warning that if the violation is repeated then the "Certificate of Occupancy" will be withdrawn and that the power company will be notified to discontinue electrical service until the court is satisfied with a plan that ensures future violations will not occur.
In summary, Hotels are not only taxed and regulated but have on-site management and security. Hotels are where visitors belong, not roaming in and out of single family neighborhoods where people are raising their families.
SUBJECT: STR Rezoning Appeal 2021-2643-ZC ... A-4 to NC-4
Public Meeting - To be held Jan. 4 @ 6pm 2022 in the St. Tammany parish council chambers on Koop Dr. in Mandeville.
The property at 450 Eden Isles Dr. has been used as a short term rental contrary to zoning that restricts it's use to that of a single family residence.
The owners have been issued a cease and desist order from St. Tammany Parish but are now appealing for a zoning change to NC-4. I think we need to consider that NC-4 as defined in the zoning ordinance includes the rights granted within the classifications of NC-3, NC-2 and NC-1. NC-3 does allow for short term rentals.
The granting of a NC-4 variance would not only codify STR operations but allow full neighborhood commercial activities. Please see www.eiohforum.com and click on "Residential Zoning" for a good index into the St. Tammany parish code. The property in question was not permitted for these types of operations, contrary to our covenants and not wanted in our neighborhood.
The reason this appeal is so important is that if the variance were to be granted then this would set legal precedent for others sure to follow. Let's say another home wanted to do STR's, then they too could appeal for a variance citing the zoning appeals board had already given a variance to someone else in the neighborhood. This would likely spread and destroy the very character of the neighborhood.
http://www.antennapoint.com mapping & channel list for local TV broadcasts
http://www.tvfool.com channel locator and signal strength estimator
Antennas are frequency selective, and each TV channel is transmitted on a different frequency. The bow tie antenna is designed to work on a broader range of frequencies and has been around for at least 50 years. You can "google" bow tie antenna for a lot of extra information.
In 2009 the FCC forced us to move to the new standard of modulation for the off-air broadcast stations. The reason they did this is because the new modulation technique is vastly superior. Almost all of the transmitter locations for New Orleans are in the Chalmette area so you really can get about 35 channels of free off-air broadcast stations perfectly here in Eden Isles by pointing your antenna in that direction. I personally have been using free broadcast television only since 2009 and I am completely satisfied with it. Twilight Zone comes on ever night on channel 6-2 at 10PM and the main broadcast channels, i. e.; 4-1, 6-1, 8-1, 12-1, 26-1, 38-1, and 54-1 all broadcast in High Def and these are free, advertiser supported channels.
My antenna is located in the attic of my home. Most houses in Eden Isles have those large open attics and there is enough signal in Eden Isles so that this will work fine here but you have to use a special amplified antenna. Do not look for this type of antenna at Radio Shack or Home Depot, they will not know what you are talking about. They do not have the amplified kind that you need. To get the correct antenna that you need, you must order it from Ebay. You have to put in three search words: ( amplified tv antenna ). This will pull up the kind of antenna that you need. Usually they only cost about $35 including shipping. (See the picture) This is the only kind of antenna that will work here in Eden Isles. The other kind that is un-amplified will continually drop out and become very annoying.
Our government offered us coupons back in 2009 to buy the Digital TV adapter boxes and these work good and are still available if you have the older style of televisions in your house. From the back of the adapter box there are stereo RCA type connectors to get surround sound to go with the excellent picture but to get the beautiful 1080 pixel over-air high definition video you will need a modern TV.
There is a free online TV guide at tvlistings.aol.com To use this you put in 70458 for the zip code and then put "Over the Air, NorthShore" and this will show you what is available. There is so much free TV that I seem to get all that I want. I understand now why it was that we needed to go this new method. Most of us were angry that this was forced on us but now I understand that it was for our own betterment. The problem now is that many people do not understand that there is free quality television because we all abandoned antennas years ago because of poor performance.
Bulkheads normally fail due to maintenance issues and the force of nature.
Tidal changes that occur every day cause immense weight changes against the bulkheads far greater than boat wakes not to mention the tremendous flow of water that accompanies the running of the tide.
Also a big effect is the difference in soil moisture and the accompanying weight change caused by rain in the yards. Dry soil weighs less than wet soil. This is also constantly changing due to the tide levels. Having a backyard pool or higher lot elevation also exhibits additional force on the bulkheads. Ever wonder why the bulkheads fail outward? This is because the yard is pushing more than the water.
And then there is the fact that the metal tie backs holding the bulkheads in place are simply rusting through. Nothing is going to save the bulkhead at this point. This has been aggravated by the salt water brought into the sub soil of our yards from Katrina and other high water events. The closer you are to the lake the more salt you will be exposed to. Costal Florida residents and municipalities have vastly increased maintenance and failure problems related to salt water. If you immediately put in new tie back rods or drive pilings at the first sign of failure you might be able to save it. Eventually every bulkhead will require maintenance.
All of the above naturally occurring forces of nature vastly outweigh any effect of typical boat wakes we see here in Eden Isles relative to bulkhead failure.
Wakes should be minimal to prevent damage and unreasonable motion to moored boats. Wakes develop relative to a vessel's theoretical hull speed. This is generally accepted as 1.34 times the square root of the water line length of the boats hull. Speed must be kept significantly below this for minimum wake. Hull shape also plays a part in making wakes. Because of the physics relating to theoretical hull speed small boats like wave runners will generate wakes at a slower speed than a large boat traveling at a faster speed.
One should also observe wakes with reason. For instance when windy there is a ripple on the water and many so called wakes just blend in with that whereas the same boat at the same speed could be called out by the same person on a dead calm day for making a ripple on the water which may be confused as a wake - I've see it happen. Real wakes are those forces exhibited by a passing boat that cause moored boats to unreasonably tug on their lines.
Wakes should be kept to a minimum. After looking at some of the pictures of passing boats that have been posted on "Nextdoor" I am only providing real info to keep people from getting into legal battles that after much expense they will loose. Quite frankly I have seen the Coast Guard, Wildlife Enforcement and St. Tammany water patrol boats make wakes bigger than some of those pictures.