A History of Eden Isles through 2009

by Thomas Thompson

 

The Eden Isles Development Began in 1969 when Leisure Inc., a Monroe-based company obtained 5,300 acres of marsh south of Slidell, and began development of Eden Isles.  Leisure Inc. constructed streets with subsurface drainage, waterways, bridges, concrete bulkheads, a water tower and sewer treatment plant.

 

Leisure Inc. then built the Eden Isles golf course, marina, and clubhouse.  They provided a security guard at the entrance of Eden Isles and maintained the common grounds, all at no charge to the residents.  Their sales office was located on Hwy.11, and the salesmen took people on tours through the waterways on a large motor yacht.  A large observation tower was constructed on Windward Passage for people to see the undeveloped areas and pick out their lots.

 

The Eden Isles clubhouse was a two story Polynesian style building located at the end of Pebble Beach Drive and over looked a beautiful 18 hole golf course.  The clubhouse complex contained a lounge, restaurant, sandwich shop, pro shop, tennis courts, swimming pool, and boat dock.  The Eden Isles clubhouse was the focal point of community events; it was where homeowner meetings were held, and where neighbors socialized with each other. 

 

Eden Isles residents were living in paradise with paved streets, subsurface drainage, community sewer and water, security guards, manicured common grounds, a golf course, clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, in addition to waterways leading directly into Lake Pontchartrain.

 

Eden Isles was the premiere subdivision in St. Tammany Parish, and flourished until the mid seventies when Save Our Wetlands Inc. filed suit against Leisure Inc., St. Tammany Parish, and the Corps of Engineers to halt the Eden Isles project.  The long costly legal battle dragged on for years and stymied the development's growth.  In 1977, Leisure Inc. defaulted on its loan and was taken over by Eden Isles, Inc., a company controlled by the Security Pacific National Bank of Los Angles.  As a result of the bankruptcy development of Eden Isles came to a standstill.  It was later speculated that the development failed because it was too ambitious for the market with unrealistic sales projections and poor access (Hwy. 11 only).

 

In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Save Our Wetlands Inc. and the bank tried to keep the development viable until a new developer could be found to take it over.   In 1987 Landmark Land Co. agreed to buy Eden Isles Inc. for $14 million contingent upon the construction of an I-10 interchange at Eden Isles.

 

Security Pacific National Bank and Landmark Land Co. lobbied local, state, and federal officials to relocate the proposed Fremaux Road I-10 interchange to Eden Isles.  When the residents of Eden Isles discovered that Landmark proposed a direct flow of traffic from the I-10 interchange into Eden Isle Drive, the Eden Isles Homeowners’ Association strongly objected to the plan. 

 

Fearing the I-10 interchange would be built at Fremaux instead of Eden Isles, Landmark held several meetings with the Eden Isles Homeowners’ Association in order to get the interchange they desperately needed for their development.  Landmark promised their Planned Unit Development (PUD) would enhance and improve Eden Isles, and agreed to make the following concessions to the Eden Isles residents in exchange for dropping objections to the I-10 interchange: 

 

1.  I-10 would flow directly into Oak Harbor Drive, instead of Eden Isles Drive. 

2.  Oak Harbor Boulevard would be four lanes, and 35 miles per from I-10 to Hwy 11. 

3.  No homes would be built adjacent to Oak Harbor Blvd that would impede traffic flow.

 

Based upon Landmark Land's promises, the Eden Isles Homeowners’ Association dropped their objects to the I-10 interchange, and the I-10 interchange at Eden Isles was approved.   Landmark Land Co. acquired 4,600 acres of undeveloped land straddling the interstate in addition to 171 existing home lots in Eden Isles.

 

Once Landmark succeeded in getting approval of the I-10 interchange and their PUD, they broke their promises to the residents of Eden Isles.  Landmark did the following to inflict harm to the existing residents of the development:

 

1.  Landmark dumped all their 171 home lots in Eden Isles on the marked at liquidation prices driving property values down.

2.  Landmark burned down the "Eden Isles" Clubhouse, destroyed and covered up the "Eden Isles" gulf course, tennis courts, and pool.

3.  Landmark changed the name of the development from "Eden Isles" to Oak Harbor.

4.  Landmark changed the name of the existing "Eden Isles" Marina to the Oak Harbor Marina.

5.  Landmark changed the name on the existing water tower from "Eden Isles" to Oak Harbor

6.  Landmark designed Oak Harbor Blvd. to discourage its use as the main connection between I-10 and Hwy. 11, by reducing it to two lanes and 25 miles per hour, developing commercial lots adjacent to the Blvd., and extending its length to approximately three times the distance of the Eden Isles connection.

7.  Landmark tied into the existing "Eden Isles" sewer and water system and doubled the tie-in fees in Eden Isles to pay for expanding the system into their new development. (In response to complaints, the public service commissioner ruled against the increased fees)

 

In summary, the new Oak Harbor development has not improved the existing Eden Isles development.  The Oak Harbor development has increased traffic along Eden Isles Drive, diminished the name "Eden Isles" as a quality development by removing its name from all major amities, and is attempting to construct unrestricted commercial development at the entrance to our community.

 

Thanks to a strong and vocal Homeowners’ Association Eden Isles is still a quality subdivision, and offers many advantages over its half sister, Oak Harbor.  Eden Isles offers unrestricted access to Lake Pontchartrain; Oak Harbor’s waterways take longer to get to the lake and are restricted by low bridges.  Eden Isles has uniform concrete bulkheads; Oak Harbor does not.  Eden Isles residents set their own fees and assessments and are not subject to the Oak Harbor mandatory assessments controlled by the developer.

 

Eden Isles has learned its lesson and will maintain its high community standards by supporting the Homeowners’ Association and participating in its activities.  For the residents of Eden Isles, our paradise has not been lost, it has been rebuilt in our own image, and we will continue to grow and prosper.

 


HISTORY OF EDEN ISLES

 

1964

 

The Corps of Engineers Chooses the “Barrier Plan” to protect all the Parishes that surround Lake Pontchartrain - After studying both a “Barrier Plan” and a “High-Level Plan” the Corps selected the “Barrier Plan” as the best, most comprehensive and cost effective method of providing storm surge protection for the greater New Orleans area.   The “Barrier Plan” was selected because it provided comprehensive protection for all the parishes surrounding Lake Pontchartrain (St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. John, St. Charles, Orleans and Jefferson) also the Corp determined it was less expensive and could be implemented sooner than the “High-Level Plan”, which proposed building 16’ to 18.5’ levees along the lake front without the barriers. 

 

The “Barrier Plan” included not only flood control gates located at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass areas, but construction of a series of 9.3 feet to 13.5  foot levees along the Orleans and Jefferson lakefront, concrete floodwalls along the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal.  The Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass structures were intended to prevent storm surges from entering Lake Pontchartrain and overflowing the levees along the lakefront and would only be closed only if a major storm surge event occurred.  The cost estimate for the “Barrier Plan” was $85 million (in 1961 dollars) and the estimated completion date was 1978.

 

A Mandeville group buys a large drainage district tract of land south of Slidell and announced plans for a major development.

 

1965

 

Hurricane Betsy hits the New Orleans area.

 

Congress authorized construction and funding of the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project (The Barrier Plan) in the Flood Control Act of 1965 to provide hurricane protection to areas around the lake.  It was a joint effort with the federal government paying 70% and the state and local interest paying 30%.  The Corps was responsible for the design and construction of the “Barrier Plan”, and local interest was responsible for the maintenance of the flood controls.

 

Construction began, first by upgrading the levees along the New Orleans lake front and main drainage canals, but the Corps faced project delays and cost overruns due to design changes caused by technical issues, environmental concerns, legal challenges, and local opposition to various aspects of the project. 

 

1969

 

The Eden Isles Development Begins - Leisure Inc., a Monroe-based company obtained 5,300 acres of marsh south of Slidell, bisected by Interstate 10 and began development of Eden Isles.  Eden Isles was to be a resort-style community, ultimately to include 12,000 residential sites, most of which would be waterfront lots. 

 

August 15, 1969 hurricane Camille hit Pass Christian, Mississippi.

 

Eden Isles Pioneers - After construction began, Eden Isles had to overcome several obstacles to convince people to buy property in Eden Isles.  The land was a flat reclaimed marsh without trees and a lake breeze that constantly blew construction debris and dust across the subdivision.  You could see for miles in all directions, Eden Isles looked more like a desert than a Garden of Eden.   It was hard to convince some people to buy in Eden Isles because with the strong breeze that constantly blew across the vast open land they were concerned about hurricanes.  Others were concerned about soil subsidence, because Eden Isles was reclaimed from a marsh.  The concerns about soil subsidence have since proven unfounded since our soil is hard clay on top of sand strata and we have never experienced any subsidence.

 

The developer showed pictures of the future golf course, marina, and clubhouse.  The developer provided a security guard at the Highway 11 entrance and maintained the common grounds.  The sales office was located on Hwy.11, at the entrance to Eden Isles, and the salesmen took people on tour through the main canals on a large motor yacht.  A large observation tower was constructed on Windward Passage for people to see the undeveloped areas and pick out their lots.  Eden Isles was a wilderness full of ducks, snakes, nutrias and alligators and the first inhabitants were true pioneers.

 

The first homes build along Eden Isles Drive and the clubhouse were designed in the Polynesian style.  The clubhouse was located at the end of Pebble Beach Drive and was used for many social events (when Landmark Land Co. bought out Eden Isles Inc. they burned down the clubhouse, redesigned the golf course and turned the end of Pebble Beach into a cul-de-sac).

 

1974

 

Save Our Wetlands files Suit to Stop Eden Isles Development - In 1974, Save Our Wetlands Inc. filed suit against Leisure Inc., St. Tammany Parish, and the Corps of Engineers to halt the Eden Isles project.  Most of the residents living in Eden Isles attended the hearings in federal court, and the Homeowners' Association collected donations, hired an attorney, and intervened in the suit as a defendant.

 

The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association adopted their By-laws - November 17, 1974.

 

1977

 

Corps faced opposition to the “Barrier Plan” In 1977, as a result of a lawsuit filed by Save Our Wetlands, Inc., and the St. Tammany Parish Police Jury a court enjoined the Corps from constructing the barrier complexes, and certain other parts of the project until a revised environmental impact statement could be prepared and accepted.

 

Eden Isles Developer Goes Bankrupt - In 1977, Leisure Inc. defaulted on its loan and was taken over by Eden Isles, Inc., a company controlled by the Security Pacific National Bank of Los Angles.  As a result of the bankruptcy development of Eden Isles came to a standstill.  It was later speculated that the development failed because it was too ambitious for the market with unrealistic sales projections and poor access (Hwy. 11 only).

 

1978

 

The Eden Isles Garden Club was formed

 

The Krewe of the Bilge has its first boat parade consisting of about a dozen boats going through the waterways to the backs of residents' homes and throwing carnival beads and trinkets.  The very first residence of Eden Isles, Harry and Natalie Pierre, were the first king and queen of the Bilge.

 

1979

 

Save Our Wetlands Loses their law Suit - In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Save Our Wetlands Inc. and said the Eden Isles development could continue. (Times-Picayune 10/30/79)

 

1980

 

Moonraker Homeowners’ Association was registered with the state of Louisiana in 1980.

 

1981

 

The Eden Isles Security Committee Was Formed to collect contributions and hirer private security guard to man the guardhouse at Hwy. 11.  The developer, at no charge to the property owners, had been providing the security guard, but when the development was taken over by Eden Isles, Inc., as a result of the bankruptcy, this free amenity ended. 

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Declares Subdivision Off Limits To Aircraft - October 22, 1981, the St. Tammany Parish Council at the request of the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association passed Ordinance 81-298.  The ordinance makes it unlawful for aircraft to take off, land, or taxi in or on any road or waterway located within Eden Isles.  This ordinance was pursued by the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association as a direct result of seaplanes and helicopters landing in the subdivision. (see plane crash in 1985)

 

1983

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Gets Single Family Zoning For Unit 4 - January 25, 1983, the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association petitioned the St. Tammany Parish to re-zone Unit 4, from R-Rural to single family residential, A-4 designation.

 

Eden Isles To Get Street Lights - In August 1983 Lighting District # 7 was created to provide streetlights in Eden Isles and other areas on the Northshore. 

 

1985

 

Corps of Engineers abandons its plan to build a Storm Surge Barrier along the eastern edge of Lake Pontchartrain – After years of delays the Corps decided to abandon its “Barrier Plan” and adopted the less controversial “High-Level Plan” that was originally rejected in 1964 because of its higher cost and limited protection.  It is important to note that the court in 1977 did not rule against the “Barrier Plan”.  The court simply required a revision to the environmental impact statement.  The Corps decision to abandon the “Barrier Plan” was not based on engineering data, storm surge data, technical considerations, financial constraints or any sustained environmental issues, but simply because the Corps chose to take the path of least resistance.

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Brings Charges against Pilot - April 20, 1985, a seaplane crashed while attempting to land in the waterway between Hwy. 11 and Moonraker, no one was injured.  The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association was fed up with pilots landing their aircraft in our subdivision and asked the Sheriff's Office to ticket the pilot in accordance with the Parish ordinance (81-298, dated October 22, 1981).  The Sheriff's Office refused to issue the ticket and the Homeowners' Association took their case directly to the District Attorney.  The Pilot was later charged and fined $200 and found guilty of pilot error by the Federal Safety Board.  As a result of the extensive newspaper articles written about this issue and the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association involvement with the FAA, word got out and aircraft stopped landing in Eden Isles. (Times Picayune, 04/20/85)

 

Hurricane Juan Hits Eden Isles - 1985, Hurricane Juan was a very small hurricane that lingered off the coast of Louisiana for days and pushed more water into Eden Isles than any of the long time residents could ever remember.  However, even with the strong tidal surge of hurricane Juan the water still did not flood any homes or cover the streets, with the exception of a few locations where clogged drainage culverts prevented the streets from draining.

 

1987

 

Landmark Land Co. Buys Eden Isles Inc. - 1987, Landmark Land Co. acquired Eden Isles Inc. for $14 million from Security Pacific National Bank of Los Angles.  The entire purchase included 171 existing homes lots in Eden Isles and approximately 4,600 acres of undeveloped land straddling the interstate.  As a condition of the sale Security Pacific guaranteed that the Eden Isles I-10 interchange that was begun in January of 1987, would be completed (Times Picayune, 01/22/87; Times Picayune, 05/12/88; Times Picayune, 09/17/88; City Business, 10/24/88; Times Picayune, 01/29/89; Times Picayune, 08/01/91).

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Keeps The Hwy. 11 Bridge Open - The Louisiana State Highway Department recommended closing the Hwy. 11 bridge permanently.  The Highway Department said the bridge pilings are badly deteriorated and that wrecks on the narrow roadway are likely to cost Louisiana big money in court.  Eden Isles Homeowners' Association joined with other residential and business associations to fight attempts to close the Hwy. 11 bridge.  The bridge opened in 1928 as the privately owned, $5million Watson-Williams toll bridge.  The state took it over 10 years later and lifted the tolls. (Times Picayune, 05/23/87)

 

1988

 

A Community Services District Was Formed For Eden Isles - In 1988, Louisiana House Bill No. 801 was passed to create the Eden Isles Community Services District.  The purpose of the district was to allow us to tax ourselves and the revenue from this tax would remain in Eden Isles and be governed by a board of five Eden Isles residents.  The legislation would allow the "District" to enforce the Covenants and Restrictions, cut vacant lots, hire security guards, and provide a host of other amenities.  Under the legislation, the services district could levy a parcel fee to provide services, but only if a Majority of voters agree.  The Community Services District was immediately challenged and much controversy followed which ultimately killed the district. (Times Picayune, 02/25/88; Times Picayune, 06/21/88; Times Picayune, 07/21/88; Times Picayune, 08/10/88; Times Picayune, 11/11/88; Times Picayune, 04/05/89; Times Picayune, 04/26/89; Times Picayune, 07/12/89; Times Picayune, 07/13/89)

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Makes Landmark Redesign the I-10 Access Road - On February 23, 1988, 400 people attended the Eden Isles Homeowners' Assoc. meeting to hear Landmark Land Co.'s presentation on how their development will enhance Eden Isles.  At that time Landmark was trying their best to be seen as a good neighbor in order to get Eden Isles to drop its objections to the I-10 interchange plan.  Landmark originally planed to channel all the traffic from the interstate directly through Eden Isles Drive to Hwy. 11.  The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association objected and demanded that Oak Harbor provide a direct route from the interstate to Hwy. 11.  Oak Harbor finally agreed to provide a four lane, 35 mph, direct access to Hwy. 11

 

A Community Service District is proposed For Eden Isles – Eden Isles homeowners met the First Baptist Church on Pontchartrain Drive and proposed establishing a community service district.  Residents have reacted negatively to incorporation and to annexation.  Most don’t want to be part of Slidell and incorporating would mean spending money on city employees and administration. Homeowners have been seeking solutions to the chronic problems of violations of restrictive covenants, lack of maintenance of neutral grounds and vacant lots, abandoned houses and street disrepair.  The legislation that would create the district is being written and would have to be approved by the Police Jury and then the Legislature.  Homeowners are aiming for the November 8 election.  Times-Picayune (02-25-88)

 Landmark makes presentation to Eden Isles Homeowners - Close to 400 people attended the Eden Isles Homeowners Association meeting to hear Landmark Land’s presentation on February 23.  The general consensus of those in attendance is that Landmark’s plans should enhance the area and the spirit in which Landmark is attempting to work with the Association should provide growth in the Eden Isles area.   (The Islander March 1988)

 Landmark Land Receives Parish Zoning Approval to Build Oak Harbor - Parish zoning and planning commission approved the necessary zoning changes needed for Landmark Land to build Oak Harbor Yacht and Country Club on 980 acres just north of Eden Isles.  The lots will be priced in the mid $40,000 range and the homes will cost from $150,000 to $200,000.  The initial phase also includes realigning the 18-hole golf course that serves Eden Isles residents and building an interchange at I-10.  A road will also be built through the proposed development from the interchange to U.S. 11.  Times-Picayune (05-12-88)

Eden Isles Taxing Bill Wins Senate Approval – A bill creating a community services district in Eden Isles won 34-0 approval in the Senate.  The bill allows creation of a taxing district to provide services in the subdivision.  The bill would require a vote of the people to approve the district and its power to levy taxes ranging from $75 to $700 a year.  The bill provides for a five member board to govern the district. Times-Picayune (06-21-88)

 In June 1988, The Eden Isles Sea Scout Troop was formed.  (The Islander June 1988)

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Gets The Right to Use the Eden Isles Logo - In June 1988, the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association entered into a licensing agreement with landmark Land Development Corp. for the right to use the Eden Isles Logo which they acquired from Eden Isles, Inc. This agreement gives the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association the right to use the logo for promotional material as well as their official letterheads, etc. (The Islander June 1988)

First Five Members Of The New Eden Isles Community Service District Is Elected – The homeowners’ association came up with the idea for a community services district after two years of searching for solutions to subdivision problems such as unkempt medians and vacant lots.  Critics of the service district secured four of the five commission seats at an election held at Salmen High School.  Many residents thought they would have an opportunity to vote on whether the district should be created, but when they learned that it was created without a vote, they became angry.  If no tax is adopted in four years, the district will lapse.  Times-Picayune (07-21-88)

The New Eden Isles Community Service District Holds First Meeting – About 50 residents crammed into a tiny water district office on Pontchartrain Dr. as the commission elected officers.  Some of the residents are worried that a majority of the commissioners will sabotage any chance that the district could be a success.  Residents attending the meeting said they are primarily concerned about security and beautification.  Times-Picayune (08-10-88)

September 1988, Oak Harbor Is Started - Landmark Land Co. broke ground on the 4,600 acre Oak Harbor development.

December 1988, Landmark Land Co. stopped their $1,500 security subsidy to Eden Isles.

December 1988, a letter from Distinctive Real Estate provided the following Eden Isles statistics:

Number of homes sold in 1988                         35

Average price                                                   $110,341

Highest price                                                    $165,000

Lowest price                                                    $55,000

Number of homes for sale in Dec. 1988            37

Average asking price                                        $134,704

Highest asking price                                          $325,000

Lowest asking price                                          $23,800

 

1989

 

Eden Isles Community Services District Presents First Plan – Eden Isles would have three security guards around the clock, two manning the guardhouses and one on roving patrol and its street medians would be mowed semi-monthly under the master services plan as a cost of less than $425,000 annually.  Another meeting to hash out this plan and others that are being drafted is set for April 24.  The Community Services District’s brief history has been strained by political tensions between supporters and a faction of skeptics who helped elect four of the five commissioners.   (Times Picayune 4-5-89)

Eden Isles Community Services District Presents Additional Plans – Two additional plans were presented to provide security and property maintenance within Eden Isles.  One plan eliminates security guards at the guardhouses and replaces them with additional Sheriff’s Office patrols and hires a landscape company to maintain medians and rights of way.  The other plan would eventually dissolve the district, replacing it with a Property Owners Alliance board to levy fees for services and administrative costs.  Property owners would have to vote every year on services proposed by the board for the next year.  (Times Picayune 4-26-89)

Eden Isles Security is Shut Down – The court ruled that subdivision owners cannot enact more restrictive regulations without the consent of all subdivision residents.  The Homeowners Association stopped making collections after the Supreme Court decision was made, and have discontinued the security team at the entrance to the neighborhood.  The president of the Homeowners Association said he didn’t anticipate the association would seek further authority.  “We’re gonna sit back and lick our wounds,” he said.  (Times Picayune 5-23-89)

 

Eden Isles Identity Crises - June 1989, Eden Isles residents feared that they were going to lose their identity.  Soon after Landmark Land Co. bought out the developers of Eden Isles they began removing the Eden Isles name and replacing it with Oak Harbor, they said they would allow Eden Isles to change its name to Oak Harbor, an offer the Eden Isles residents declined.  They closed down the Eden Isles golf course and burned down the Eden Isles Club House (literally).  Then they changed the marina's name from Eden Isles to Oak Harbor.  The Eden Isles name and Logo was removed from the Water tower and replaced with the Oak Harbor name and Logo.  But when Landmark Land asked the state Department of Transportation and Development to put "Oak Harbor," not Eden Isles," on the new I-10 road signs the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association declared war and demanded that the name Eden Isles also appear on the sign and won.  (Times Picayune, 01/24/89; Times Picayune, 03/15/89; Times Picayune 6/5/89)

 

The Landmark Land Co. Sponsors and Eden Isles Family Picnic – In an effort to help shed their big, bad wolf image Landmark had a party for the residents of Eden Isles with free beer, food, games and prizes.  At the party Landmark tried to improve their image after burring down the Eden Isles clubhouse, changing the name on the water tower, renaming the Eden Isles golf course, marina and trying to eliminate the name Eden Isles from the new I-10 road signs.  At the party residents were offered membership packages for the new Oak Harbor golf course and clubhouse.  (Times Picayune 6/10/89)

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Wins Fight to Eliminate Drainage Tax - December 1989, after a two year fight by the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association drainage district two's boundaries were redrawn to exclude Eden Isles and eliminate the drainage tax.  Eden Isles had been paying a drainage tax for a forced drainage system using pumps when we have gravity drainage.  (The Islander December 1989)

 

1990

 

I-10 Over Pass is Opened - The Eden Isles I-10 overpass opened at a cost of $9 million.  (Times Picayune 4-7-90)

Controversial Eden Isles Fee Scheduled To Go On Ballot – The Eden Isles Community Services District decided to let homeowners vote on April 7 for a proposal for parcel fees to finance security and grounds keeping.  “If the plan fails to pass, it will certainly signal the end of our security in Eden Isles,” said the chairman of the association’s security committee.  (The Islander & Times Picayune March 1990)

Eden Isles Community Services District is Abolished – Voters rejected the services district concept with the power to raise money for security and common ground maintenance and the district was abolished.  (Times Picayune 7-13-90)

November 27, 1990, The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association By-Laws are revised - The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association revised their By-laws.

 

1991

Toll Span May Replace the Hwy 11 Bridge – As an alternative to closing the Hwy. 11 bridge, something the Louisiana Department of Transportation has been requesting since 1989, a proposal is now being considered to construction a new 4 lane toll bridge. Times Picayune, 04/24/91)

 

Landmark Faces Financial Difficulty– All of Landmark’s properties are owned by the parent company, Oak Tree Savings of New Orleans, which has been operation under a supervisory agreement with the federal Office of Thrift Supervision since September because of financial difficulties.  Because of Oak Tree’s financial problems and federal supervision of company operations, landmark’s plans to build a $4 million golf course clubhouse have been put on hold.  (Times Picayune 8-1-91)

 

Eden Isles Fishing Rodeo - October 5 & 6, 1991, Eden Isles held its first Fishing Rodeo and it was a big success!  Two bands provided music, Frankie and the Cruisers performed an outstanding Las Vegas style show, and the dance floor located under the big tent was jammed.  A raffle gave away a 19" TV, a microwave, a disc player, a VCR, a 10 speed bicycle, a Sony watchman TV, a cassette player, several stereo systems, cordless phone, fishing supplies, a hand painted Eden Isles buoy, hardware supplies, and much, much more.  There were 101 entries in the Poker Run and the rodeo made over $9,000 for the Homeowners' Association.  (The Islander September 1991)

 

Fishing Rodeo Winners Were

 

Salt Water Category:

Speckled Trout

Mark Lueg                   2 lbs. 8.25 oz.

Owen Jones                 1 lb. 12 oz.

 

Redfish

A.J. Forstall                  6 lbs. 4 oz.

Mike Dupre                  1 lb. 4 oz.

 

Flounder

Ronald Putfark 4 lbs. 8.25 oz.

Bobby Burton               3 lbs. 13.25 oz.

 

Drum

Bobby Burton               34 lbs. 12 oz.

Jeanne Paysse              23 ls.

 

Sheepshead

Warren Luning  7 lbs. 7.25 oz.

Jerry Hebert                 7 lbs. 3 oz.

 

Croaker

Bob Luning       7 oz.

 

Childrens' Division - "Biggest Fish"

Corey Chagnard           6 lbs. 4 oz. (Sheepshead)

Corey Chagnard           6 lbs. 3 oz. (Sheepshead)

 

Fresh Water Category:

 

Green Trout/Bass

Erick Englehardt           3.5 ibs.

Liz Hoffmann                2 lbs.

 

Stripped Bass

Bobby Burton               1 lb. 13 oz.

Mat Cunningham          11 oz.

 

Perch

Tammy Austin  6 oz.

Tammy Austin  6 oz.

 

Catfish

Steve Metzler               11 oz.

Candy Metzler              8 oz.

 

Gar

Mark Swanson             64 lbs.

Mark Swanson             45 lbs.

 

Childrens' Division - "Biggest Fish"

Rocky Thompson         1 lb. 3 oz (catfish)

Sunny Thompson          6.5 oz (catfish)

 

Scuba Division

Robert Kenny, Sr.        7 lbs. 13.5 oz. (Sheephead)

Bruce Jacobs                7 lbs. 7 oz. (Sheepshead)

 

King Fisherman

Mark Swanson 64 lb. Gar

 

King Fisher-Woman

Jean paysse                  23 lb. Drum

 

1992

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Negotiates Lower Waste Disposal Rates - January 1992, the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association approached Waste Management and negotiated a rate reduction from $18 per month to $16 per month along with a senior citizen discount for those over 63 old.

 

Greenforce was started to cut the common grounds.

 

1993

 

The population of Eden Isles increases to over 900 homes.

 

Clipper Inc. applies for permit to develop property at the end of Moonraker Drive.

 

Wayward Manatee Moves Into Eden Isles - The following is taken from the November 12, 1993 Times-Picayune:  A wily manatee played watery hide-and-seek Thursday with a small army of rescuers in Eden Isles.  The manatee, estimated to be eight to 10 feet long and weighing 800 to 1,000 pounds, seemed almost magical as he eluded would be rescuers.  Scores of Eden Isles residents, in a jovial, party mood, flocked to backyard wooden docks behind Eydie Lane and Charles Court armed with cameras, beer and fried chicken, to watch the daylong rescue effort.  By nightfall, the elusive plant-eating aquatic mammal, which probably strayed during migration efforts was still swimming freely in the Eden Isles waterways.  Residents first spotted the manatee Saturday and since have seen it circling around in the waterways. 

 

Throughout the warm afternoon, the manatee, on schedule, would break the surface, a large black snout followed by a graceful arch, a huge brown back and flippers.  It would then slide back underwater.  Six divers from Marineland Oceanarium in Gulfport, Miss., spent several hours in the water, patiently moving a huge net in an attempt to capture the manatee.  All efforts to capture the manatee failed and after several days the manatee simply disappeared. (Times Picayune, 11/12/93; Times Picayune, 11/13/93)

 

1994

 

Moonraker Island Homeowners Association Tried To Reactivate Their Association - On October 3, 1994 a meeting was held at the Tammany Yacht Club to reactivate the Moonraker Island Homeowners Association (M.I.H.O.A).  Some of the issues that were discussed were: The Clipper Island developer's desire to sell a strip of land that surrounds Moonraker Lake to the homeowners.  The Clipper Island developer wants to secede from the Moonraker covenant and establish their own covenant.

 

1995

 

Tornado Hits Eden Isles - May 8, 1995 a tornado hit Eden Isles and does extensive damage to several homes, fortunately no one was hurt.  It was heart warming to see how the community pitched in to help those in need.

 

The Famous May Flood Hits New Orleans And Slidell - May 10, 1995, as much as 18 inches of rain came in six hours and when it finally stopped much of New Orleans, Metairie and Slidell was flooded, but not Eden Isles.  Because, Eden Isles is built up so high and drains directly in to Lake Pontchartrain Eden Isles didn't experience any flooding.

 

1996

 

St. Tammany Police Jury Denied Spur/Burger King Sign - April, Oak Harbor developer was denied a sign permit to construct a 45' high, 250 sf. Spur/Burger King sign at the I-10 entrance to Eden Isles.  This was an issue the Eden Isles Homeowners' lobbied against.

 

1997

 

Attempt to Make Security Fees Mandatory Fails - The guard service committee organized a petition drive to revise the covenants making payment for security mandatory.  In March 1997, the committee determined they had enough signatures to legally amend the covenants.  The security committee sent out notices to all residents that payment for security guard service was now mandatory and failure to comply would result in having a lien placed on their property.

 

The legality of the covenant revision was immediately challenged and a suit was filed against its enforcement.  The issue was resolved when a similar law suit, in Briar Lake Subdivision, went before the Louisiana Supreme court and they ruled that unanimous consent of all lot owners is need to make covenants more restrictive.

 

The security committee decided that they would no longer maintain guard service based on voluntary contributions and stopped the guard service.  The security committee asked our State Representatives to pass a law that would allow subdivision covenants to be made more restrictive without the unanimous consent of all lot owners.  The result of their efforts was House Bill # 62, which is designed to allow subdivisions to amend their covenants.  However, the House Bill provides for exemptions to anyone that does not want to be covered by the new covenants, thus making participation voluntary. (Times Picayune, 05/23/98)

 

1999

 

Security cameras are installed in Eden Isles – New security camera system was installed at each guardhouse to monitor the vehicles that pass each guard house.  (The Eden Islander, 1999 #5)

 

Committee Evaluates Feasibility to Revise Covenants In Accordance With HB 62 - A covenants committee was established by the Homeowners' Association to evaluate revisions to the covenants including a revision to include mandatory assessments.  The committee met with the Association's lawyer, and recommended to the Homeowners’ Board of Directors a covenant revision that included mandatory assessments.  The Homeowners’ Board of Directed estimated the cost of conducting a formal vote on the covenants, in accordance with HB 62's requirements to be approximately $2,000. 

 

Before committing such an expense the board conducted an informal vote in May 2000, through the "Eden Islander" to determine if there was enough support to justify the expense of conducting a formal vote to impose mandatory assessment.  Of the 178 Responses received (a number that represents approximately 17% of the homeowners), 86 voted, "YES", they are willing to commit to a mandatory assessment, and 92 voted, "NO".  Based upon the response the board chose not pursue mandatory assessments.

 

Eden Isles Web Sight Goes on Line – the Eden Isles Homeowners Association established a homeowner’s website.  (The Islander October 1999)

Eden Isles Homeowners' Association Establishes a Water Watch Committee - A committee is established to take water samples within the canals and transport them to a laboratory for analysis.  The goal is to have a comprehensive water quality evaluation of the Eden Isles waterways before the summer swimming season arrives to assure residents that our waterways are pollution free.  A bacterial count of 200 or greater would indicate a pollution problem.  The only counts that exceeded 200 were near Coast Water Works sewer discharge line.  (The Islander October 1999)

 

 

2000

 

 

Water Watch Committee test Results -

Water Watch Committee WATER SAMPLING LOG

Date

Location

Coliform Count

Comments

02/02/00

Eden Isles Marina

47

5:00-6:30 a.m., Dry, Temp. 55° F

02/02/00

Coast Waterworks

22

5:00-6:30 a.m., Dry, Temp. 55° F

02/02/00

216 Valiant Lane

10

5:00-6:30 a.m., Dry, Temp. 55° F

02/02/00

256 Marina Dr.

11

5:00-6:30 a.m., Dry, Temp. 55° F

02/02/00

107 Jubilee Point

9

5:00-6:30 a.m., Dry, Temp. 55° F

03/01/00

Eden Isles Marina

51

6:45-7:02 a.m., Dry, Temp. 68° F

03/01/00

Coast Waterworks

35

6:45-7:02 a.m., Dry, Temp. 68° F

03/01/00

101 Eden Isles Dr.

38

6:45-7:02 a.m., Dry, Temp. 68° F

03/01/00

211 Eden Isles Dr.

45

6:45-7:02 a.m., Dry, Temp. 68° F

03/01/00

Clipper, Moonraker bridge

16

6:45-7:02 a.m., Dry, Temp. 68° F

05/10/00

Eden Isles Marina

51

Dry

05/10/00

Coast Waterworks

27

Dry

07/05/00

Eden Isles Marina

46 & 37

Two samples taken first in middle of marina and 2nd. next to docks.  Hot & dry, however, on Sat. 07/01/00 had 3" rain fall.  Sample taken after 4th of July on Wen. 07/05/00. No rain between Sat. night and Wen. (waste material was visually sighted in the marina on Sat. 7/8/00)

07/05/00

Coast Waterworks

274

Hot & dry, however, on Sat. 07/01/00 had 3" rain fall.  Sample taken after 4th of July on Wen. 07/05/00. No rain between Sat. night and Wen.

08/02/00

Eden Isles Marina

24 & 41

Two samples taken first in middle of marina and 2nd. next to docks.  Hot & dry.

08/02/00

Coast Waterworks

219

Hot & dry.

08/30/00

Coast Waterworks

51, 62, & 70

Three samples were taken at Coast Waterworks; 1 approximately 100 ft. upstream of discharge (51), 1 sample at discharge (62), & 1 sample approximately 100 ft. downstream of discharge (70).

 Please continue to do your part by:

1. If you see the "RED" light on at a lift station immediately notify Coast Waterworks.

2. If you see a sewerage discharge notify Coast Waterworks, and the DEQ and the Health Department.  

3. Do not over fertilize your lawns, do not dump trash into the water or street drains, do not treat the ducks as pets, and instruct your lawn service not to blow grass clippings into the water. 

The Health & Hospitals Dept of Environmental Quality also suggested that we do not swim in the waterways for several days following a heavy rain.

 

St. Tammany Parish Council Denied Permit to Build Storage Facility - At the June 6 meeting the St. Tammany Parish Council sustained the Zoning Commission's denial of a conditional use permit for a large, three story high mini storage to be built on Marina Drive at the entrance to Eden Isles.  This was an issue the Eden Isles Homeowners' lobbied against.

 

Lakeshore Estates Gains Access To Lake Pontchartrain – Developer Robert Torres Jr. overcomes wetlands issues and opens his Lakeshores Estates water front development across the interstate from Eden Isles to Lake Pontchartrain. (Times Picayune, 09/29/99; Times Picayune, 03/02/00)

 

2001

 

A Large Fish Kill In Eden Isles Canals - A large fish kill hits the Gulf coast, including Eden Isles.  The kill only affects mullet and the DEQ attributes the kill to a combination of a parasitic heartworm and the stress brought on by a hard freeze.

 

Eden Isles Homeowners' Enter into Law suite against Oak Harbor Developer - Oak Harbor Developer suites the St. Tammany to get zoning and permit relief in order to develop their commercial property at the I-10 Eden Isles entrance.  Eden Isles Homeowners' Association enters into the lawsuit in order to protect homeowner property values. (Times Picayune, 03/14/01)

 

Highway Department Proposes Closing Highway 11 Bridge For Five Months - The Times-Picayune reported that the Hwy. 11 bridge is going to be closed on February 19, and remain closed until resurfacing is completed, around July 4.  This meant closing the bridge nine weeks before beginning construction.  Representatives from your homeowner's association, along with other concerned citizens, attended a town meeting on February 15, 2001, to express our concern over the early closing before construction was to begin.  (Times Picayune 2-13-01)

Our Parish President, Kevin Davis, was at the town meeting and he voiced his concern that the early closing had not been coordinated with his office and there has not been adequate time to develop proper detour plans.  Our State Senator, Mr. Tom Schedler, was also at the meeting and responded to our concerns by contacting the head of the Highway Department and convincing him to keep the bridge open until construction begins.  This was great news, not only because of the traffic delays on the twin span, but also because of the added traffic on Eden Isles Drive. 

The construction consisted of repairing 5 to 10% of the under structure pilings and supports, resurfacing the bridge with concrete, replacing the draw bridge electrical system, refurbishing the pen on the south leaf of the north drawbridge, and installing new rails near the drawbridge.  Construction was completed in the summer of 2001.

 

December 5th Meeting About Parking/Abandoning Vehicles On Public Streets - Our Parish Representative, Coach Thomas, held a community meeting to discuss enforcement of Parish Ordinances that prohibit parking/abandoning vehicles on public streets.  In addition to Representative Thomas, the other Parish officials present were: Mr. Mike Savant, legal counsel for the parish; Mr. Lane Carson, Assistant District Attorney; Mr. Sidney Fontenot, Director of Planning; Mr. Donald Sharp and Al Tailor with the Sheriff’s Office; and Mr. Kevin Davis, St. Tammany Parish President. 

Mr. Carson read the two ordinances, which state it is unlawful to park or abandon a vehicle on any public street for more than 48 consecutive hours, and it is unlawful to park or abandon boats, trailers, motor homes, or vehicles over six feet in width for more that 24 hours.  It was also stated that the 48-hour ordnance applies parish wide, but the 24-hour ordinance for oversized vehicles only applies to district 13.  Residents were given five minutes each to express their opinions. (Times Picayune 12-7-01) The Islander January 2002)

Those opposed to enforcement of the ordinances sited the following reasons:

1. Safety – speeding is a greater safety concern than parking on the street.  The vehicles parked on the shoulders of Eden Isles Drive act as barricades preventing cars from passing on the right shoulder.  Cars parked on side streets also act as barricades forcing cars to slow down in order to maneuver around them. Therefore, parking on the street creates a safer condition.

2. Convenience – owners of over sized motor homes need to park their motor home in front of their home to prepare for trips, and it takes more that 24 hours to load and unload a motor home.

3.  Improper use of public resources – public resources should concentrate their efforts on more important issues like: speeding and crime; not waste their time enforcing silly parking ordinances.

4.  Need – my garage is so full I can’t put a car in it, and my driveway is too small to for all my cars.

5.  This is a witch-hunt – supporters of the ordinances represent only a small number of residents in the subdivision and their efforts to enforce the ordinances will cause hard feelings among neighbors.

Those supporting the enforcement of the ordinances sited the following reasons:

1.  Safety – parking on the street prohibits safe traffic flow, reduces visibility, forces vehicles to drive against oncoming traffic, and it’s hazardous to pedestrians walking along the edge of the street.  There is agreement that speeding is a significant problem, but using vehicles as barricades to restrict traffic flow isn’t the answer.  Strict enforcement of our speed limits and possibly speed bumps are more effective and safer than using cars, trucks, and trailers as barricades.

2.  The ordinances are extremely liberal and they allow on street parking – the ordinances do not, and will not impact 95% of the residents.  You may park your car on the street all you want just don’t store your car, truck, or trailer on the street for more than two days at a time.  This gives every resident the freedom to park on the street every day if they choose to, it also allows overflow parking for parties, weekend visits, and other special events.  The issue is not parking on a public street.  The issue is creating a prolonged nascence by using a public street as your personal storage lot for vehicles you do not use. 

3.  Improper use of public property – The streets do not belong to you they belong to everyone, and when you store your vehicle on our streets you infringe upon our rights to travel on our streets safely without obstructions.

4. Maintaining community standards and property values – Eden Isles is a quality upscale residential subdivision, and people have made substantial investment in their homes.  Most residents take pride in their homes and resent the negative image caused by using streets as storage lots.  Storing cars, truck, boats, trailers, and motor homes on the street detracts from our image and lowers property values. 

5.  Enforcement has strong community support – Eden Isles consist of 1,243 residents, and as of this date 512 have signed a petition requesting the ordinances to be enforced.  It is unfair to accuse the Home Owner’s Association Board of Directors of conducting a witch-hunt.  The Home Owner’s board is a group of unpaid volunteers elected by their neighbors in accordance with the bylaws to help residents achieve the goals that they have set for the community.  After receiving numerous complaints about boat trailers and motor homes parked in the streets the board had a responsibility to resolve the problem.  The board published article after article in the new letter asking residents not to use our streets as a storage lot for their unused vehicles.  The board drove the streets to verify the validity of the complaints, made phone calls, and left notices asking people to find another place to store their unused cars, trucks, boats, trailers, and motor homes.  Most people willingly complied, a small percentage refused.  As a last resort the Board simply asked the parish to enforce its existing laws.

6.  Enforcement is fair and just – The board has worked out a system with the parish to resolve this issue without imposing undue hardship on the residents of Eden Isles or to the parish enforcement agencies.  Once a month a list of complaints sent to the parish code enforcement office.  The parish code enforcement office indecently verifies the ordinance violation and issues a written notice to the owner.  If the vehicle is not moved within the prescribed period of time (48 hours or 24 hours for vehicles over 6’ wide) the sheriff’s office is notified and they once again the owner is asked to move their vehicle.  If the owner still refuses to move their vehicle. Then and only then is it towed away.   The 24-hour limit is needed for over sized vehicles because they pose a greater threat to public safety in the densely populated subdivisions of District 13.

The meeting concluded with the parish’s commitments to enforce the ordinances. (Times Picayune, 12/07/01)

Enterprise Drive Bridge Repair - After two years of lobbing, The Eden Isles Homeowner’s Association finally convinced the Parish to repair the Enterprise Drive bridge.  The erosion under the bridge approaches had gotten so bad that caverns five feet high, ten feet wide, and fifteen feet long had formed and there was nothing supporting the approaches to the bridge. (note: the state is responsible for maintaining the Eden Isles bridges, and the Parish is responsible for maintaining the Enterprise Drive bridge) The Islander December 2001)

 

2002

 

Alaska Earthquake Makes Waves in Louisiana – Boats started rocking in Eden Isles as a result of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in a remote interior area of Alaska.  No damage was reported. (Times Picayune, 11/04/02)

 

2005

 

Hurricane Katrina – On August 29, 2005 the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States left devastation all along the gulf coast from Alabama to Texas and for the first time in the 36 year history of Eden Isles homes were flooded with two to six feet of water depending on the home’s elevation and proximity to the lake.  The western edge of the eye passed over Eden Isles and pushed a 16 foot tidal surge into Lake Pontchartrain covering our waterways with storm debris.  Unlike New Orleans, Slidell and other communities that were “Protected” by levees the tidal surge came and went in just a few hours instead of saturating homes for days.  This allowed the residents to return almost immediately and begin cleaning up.

 Large sections of the I-10 twin span bridge were washed away and traffic was diverted to Highway 11 at Old Spanish Trail and the old Highway 11 bridge became the only way into or out of New Orleans from the East.  The Sheriff’s Department set up a road block near the entrance to Eden Isle and only allowed people with proof of residency onto our island.  The Sheriff’s Department also patrolled the streets and waterways of Eden Isles to protect the lives and property of the residents.

 Eden Isles lead the recovery effort and in about a year most of the homes in Eden Isles were repaired.  It did take longer for some people with inadequate flood insurance and other hardships, but Eden Isles has come back better than ever.

 

2009

 

Corp Of Engineers Holds Meeting On Storm Surge Protection For St. Tammany - June 16, 2009 – After years of neglect and inactivity from elected officials two Eden Isles residents decided to take matters into their own hands and asked for storm surge protection for all of the parishes impacted by storm surge entering Lake Pontchartrain.  They requested a Corps public meeting to publicize the need for a comprehensive barrier protection system.

The turnout for the Corp meeting on June 16th was overwhelming, a standing room only crowd of over 1,000 people showed up at the Harbor Center.  The Corps gave a presentation and admitted that they have no plans to protect the 1.5 million people who live around the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain from storm surge.  Attendees left the meeting frustrated and angry that they were not allowed to speak at the meeting and voice their concerns over the Corps decision to disregard the storm surge protection needs of the north shore.

 

St Tammany Parish Counsel Supports Storm Surge Barriers for the Lake - On July 2nd the St Tammany Parish Council held their own storm surge meeting and passed a resolution in support of storm surge barriers for the east end of Lake Pontchartrain. 

 

New I-10 Twin Span Opens - July 9, 2009 – East bound lane of the new twin span is opened for traffic.

 

Eden Isles is Removed From the I-10 Exit Sign – August 2009 - The Department of Transportation replaced the Eden Isles exit signs, removing the name “Eden Isles”.  After fighting so hard to have the community designation of Eden Isles placed on the sign in 1989 the EIHOA immediately contact the DOTD requested Eden Isles be reinstated on the sign.  On October 30, 2009 the DOTD refused our request with the following explanation: “Rural interchanges are generally designated by guide signs that contain the intersecting route marker legend and the community name.  Urban interchanges, however, are usually named after the intersecting roadway as specified by DOTD and FHWA signing standards.  Since the Interstate 10 interchange at Oak Harbor is considered an urban interchange, Eden Isles would not qualify as the primary designation under current standards.  The old signs with the Eden Isles legend along Interstate 10 qualified because the area was considered rural at that time.”  The DOTD has added supplemental guide signs that state “Northshore Harbor Center, Eden Isles, Next Exit”.

 

Security Cameras are Reinstalled at Island Entrances – November 2009 - The EIHOA reinstalled security cameras with digital recording capability to replace the original security cameras that were mounted on the roofs of our guardhouses and destroyed by hurricane Katrina.  The new system is far superior to our old system and it is capable of recording the license number, make, model and color of all vehicles entering and/or leaving the Eden Isles community.  In the event of criminal activity, the data captured on the security system can provide the Sheriff’s office with the necessary information needed for their investigation.  This state of the art security system is now protecting our island paradise and it will provide a level of security equal to or greater than any gated community in the parish but without the gates.  This system is not in place to issue speeding tickets or stop sign violators, but it will deter crime, assist in the return of stolen property, and assist in the apprehension of criminals.  All inquiries for access to camera’s recording data base must go through the Sheriff’s office. 

 

High Quality Prestigious Street Signs Installed – November 2009 – The EIHOA Purchased and began installing high quality, prestigious street signs to enhance the status and property values within our island paradise.

 

The Regional Planning Commission proposes widening Highway 11 - The project would be financed with federal money and would consist of a combination of two and four lanes with a median from Lake Pontchartrain to Spartan Dr.

 

2010