FAQ ( Frequently asked questions)
* Question - How do I stop cars from speeding down my street?
- Answer - Speeding has always been a problem, not only in our subdivision but also throughout the parish. Over the years many things have been tried in an effort to slow down traffic. Some of the things that have been tried in an attempt to slowdown traffic are, speed limit signs, children at play signs, stop signs and a transportable electronic sign that flashes how fast cars are traveling. An effort to install speed bumps on Eden Isles Drive was also attempted, but failed to get Parish approval.
Over the years we have concluded that the placement of signs has proven to be ineffective. We feel that the only effective way to stop speeding is for the Sheriff to issue tickets. This is not a very popular solution because the majority of the speeders are our neighbors and the Sheriff is reluctant to sent officers on speed patrols.
The Sheriff's electronic sign that flashes how fast cars are traveling may have a short-term effect, but the speeding quickly resumes once the electronic sign is removed. Speed limit signs and children at play signs may make you feel better, but they have no effect on speeders, and requesting stop signs for speed control is not the answer! Government studies have proven that the use of stop signs for speed control is ineffective and breads contempt that reduces their effectiveness in locations where they are needed for traffic control. Federal guidelines expressly forbid the use of stop signs for speed control.
If you have a problem with cars speeding past your home, call the Sheriff's office and insist that they send an officer to your location and enforce the speed limit! You can help the Sheriff by giving him a time when most of the speeding takes place and if there is a particular car that is constantly speeding be sure to give its description to the Sheriff.
* Question - What can be done about boat trailers, campers & cars parked on the street for weeks or months?
- Answer - Two Parish Ordinances apply. Parish Ordinance 13-002.01 prohibits parking for over twenty-four (24) hours on any public street, highway or roadway within Police Jury Districts (District 13). This ordnance applies to trailers of any kind, motor homes, and/or vehicles in excess of six (6') feet in width. Parish Ordnance 13-002.00 prohibits parking for over forty-eight forty-eight (48) consecutive hours on any public street, highway or roadway.
Unfortunately Our Sheriff, Jack Strain, refuses to enforce the ordinances.
* Question - Who is responsible for cutting the vacant lots?
- Answer - The lot owners are responsible for maintaining their property. The Parish is responsible for enforcing the Parish Nuisances Ordinance that prohibits "(a) Noxious weeds and other rank vegetation. (c) Any condition which provides harborage for rats, mice, snakes and other vermin." The Parish has the authority to cut lots if the owners refuse to do so and to place liens on their property to recoup the cost of the cutting. This issue can only be resolve by contacting Parish Code Enforcement. The Eden Isles Homeowners' Association has no responsibility for, or authority over, this issue.
* Question - How do I report a covenant violation?
- Answer - It depends on the violation. If it is a minor violation such as parking their boat trailer on the street, etc. we recommend that you discuss the issue directly with your neighbor, in a friendly non-confrontational manner (see "Steps In Solving A Problem With Your Neighbor" under "Miscellaneous" on this web sight).
If you are unable to resolve the issue or if the issue is a major violation, then you can call the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association. A member of the Eden Isles Covenant Committee will investigate and determine what actions should be taken.
If you are still not satisfied with the results, you have the right to file suite against the violator to force compliance.
If the violation is also prohibited by Parish subdivision codes a call to Parish Code Enforcement may be the quickest and most effective way of resolving the issue.
* Question - What is a Poker Run and how does it work?
- Answer - A Poker Run is a fund raising even used by the Eden Isles Homeowners' Association and several other organizations. The concept is simple; you pay an entrance fee for the chance to win a pot of money. Each participant is given a list of locations to visit to (the locations are usually lounges and/or restaurants). At each location you get to draw a card and socialize with the other participants. After you have visited each location and have drawn all of your cards a winning hand is determined and they get the pot of money.
The Eden Isles poker run tries to select locations that are accessible by both cars and boats which makes the even a lot more enjoyable for our waterfront community. It is also an excellent way for neighbors to get together socially for some fun while providing financial help to our community with the added incentive that you may be the lucky winner of the pot of money!
* Question - How Safe Is Our Drinking Water?
- Answer - The Department of Health and Hospitals was contacted about the content and quality of our drinking water. Their department divides their monitoring into two types of analysis. The first type of analysis is for bacteria, and viruses, and this analysis is done monthly. The second type of analysis is to identify the chemical makeup of the water, and this analysis is conducted every three years.
The monthly analysis of our water verifies that our drinking water is free of any harmful bacteria or viruses. The second analysis verifies that there have not been any significant changes in the chemical makeup of our water and to verify that contaminants are below the limits that are considered harmful.
All sources of drinking water contain some naturally occurring contaminants. At low levels, these contaminants generally are not harmful in our drinking water. The Department of Health and Hospitals permits water with contaminants to be used as long as they are below the acceptable safe limits.
The Department of Health and Hospitals gave us their computer printout listing the chemical makeup of our drinking water. This water analysis was evaluated by our laboratory expert, and he verified that the contaminates are within safe limits. The discoloration in our drinking water is from tannin, which are common in this area. This discoloration is unsightly, but not harmful. The odor is from the Sulfate content. The glassware etching experienced by some residents is probably cause by the total alkalinity content, which is in the high normal range of 222.5 mg/L, and this is not considered a health risk.
Because our drinking water meets or exceeds all federal and state health requirements the Health Department has no authority to make our water company remove these contaminants, and removing all contaminants would be extremely expensive and in nearly all cases would not provide greater protection of health.
*Question - What Can I Do To Stop Door To Door Sales? (This is not directed towards neighborhood children fund raising activities)
- Answer - The Sheriff's office recommends that you should be suspicious of anyone that comes to your door selling goods or services. You should ask to see the peddler's occupational license that is required by Parish Ordnance. The Sheriff recommends calling the Sheriff's office and thy will send out an officer to checkout the peddler to be sure he/she is involved in a legitimate enterprise.
* Question - What happened to the lighted channel marker at the entrance to the Marina?
- Answer - It comes down to ownership and liability. The issue of providing lighted channel marker has been discussed for years and each time John Erickson is asked to relate the history, trials, and tribulations associated with this issue. John Erickson is retired Coast Guard, one of the first residents of Eden Isles, and the first president of the Homeowners’ Association. John’s dedication to the community and wealth of knowledge has been invaluable over the years, now once again, we have called upon John, and John has been kind enough to provide the following history of the channel marker for your reading enjoyment.
The Channel Marker Saga
I have no idea how deep, the continual parade of “Sea Lawyers” want to go into this but here’s my 2 cents, I hope I answer your questions. I’m sure that some will take umbrage to these remarks but action speaks louder than words. For those who disagree the proof will be in their pudding: a magnificent beacon of safety, out there on old #1 at the entrance to Eden Isles, flashing to guide all lost mariners home to safety and rest. Amen!
Before anyone can do anything legally, even touch any of the pilings associated with the entrance channel other than maintenance (explained later), they must have permission of the owner of the piling/structure and/or the Coast Guard. No one can assume new ownership of the channel pilings without the concurrence of the present owner. No one, under penalty of federal law, may change the characteristics of the channel as listed in the Coast Guard lightlist, as shown on charts or broadcasted and detailed in the local Notice-to-Mariners.
To replace the missing piling and daybeacon #2, which was destroyed by a barge in the eighties, one must also have the permission of the Corps of Engineers and approval by the state. Since that effort would be to replace what was an EXISTING piling, and not put in a NEW one, in the mid 1990s the fees are about $200 and the paperwork will only take a few months. But in doing this the OWNER must approve all actions. Please note the repetition of the word “owner” throughout this tome.
The only exception to this is if the Coast guard determines that the pilings are a “Hazard to Navigation”. Then the “Owner” (if he can be found) can be forced though legal procedures and the Federal Courts to remove these pilings or render them harmless to Navigation at the owners expense. After a period of time and not finding an “owner” of the pilings, the Coast Guard COULD remove them but may not depending on THEIR opinion as to how serious their threat is. In the latter case, the Coast Guard would simply place a notice in the local N-to-M, which everyone is supposed to read, and be done with it.
The question, which must be answered before anything can be done and the problem solved is; who owns the pilings? The original owners of the pilings were the people who went to the Coast Guard and asked to put in the channel and mark it in the first place. The Coast Guard determined at that time it was a private channel and refused to mark it at federal expense. These are the same people who had me design the channel. They put in the pilings, bought and installed the daymarks on all four pilings and had me, Denis Atkinson and Bill Hawley (Hawley no longer lives here) install the light. That was Leisure Inc. of circa 1975. Later, as we all know, the bank that owned Leisure Inc. sold Leisure Inc. and everything else to The Oaktree Bank of Calif.
I was approached many years ago, by the people at Oaktree, to give them a cost to redo the channel. They wanted to dredge it to 10 feet and put in several more aids to navigation (extend the channel) and put a light on both #1 and #2. I referred them to the Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard to answer their questions and to get the proper forms filled out. I never heard from them again. Later I was advised, in answer to a specific question, that the “Parent Corporation” wanted nothing to do with that channel.
Later, as we all know, Oaktree went in to receivership but not before leasing the mariner area to Warren Properties. In the lease, as I was lead to believe, the MAINTENANCE of the entrance channel aids to navigation fell to Warren properties and by default to the marina harbormaster who is an employee of Warren Properties. In fact the Sea Scouts, at the request of the harbormaster, actually replaced the #4 daybeacon, which the harbormaster had made and stored under his office.
When Sea Scout, Katie Hagen, took on “The Lighting of old #1” as a Quartermaster project, the first thing we did was try and pinpoint the OWNERSHIP of the pilings. No one would claim ownership of the pilings, the harbormaster, Warren Properties, Oak harbor, state, parish, Coast Guard, no one. I informed everyone involved that I had contacted the Coast guard and this was a do-able thing if the owner could be located. The Coast Guard records apparently stopped with the Oaktree Bank. Automatic Power Inc. on the West Bank, who originally built the light, said they would repair the old light at minimal cost, train Sea Scouts (or anyone else) free to maintain the light and if worse came to worse, they would send a technician out to fix the light. The latter was to be done at the owner’s expense of course and the owner had to furnish the transportation to the light.
After much running around and screaming and shouting in high places, the word filtered down that no one in his or her right mind would take on this project unless it was a commercial venture, due to the liability and insurance costs. No one would still own up to the ownership of the pilings. Shortly after my digging in to this, the light vanished from on top of daymark #1 to be never seen again. Out of sight, out of mind and therefore no more problems. The person(s) who removed the light, which is not against the law since #1 is now and was then legally an “unlighted aid”, have never been found. Then again I don’t think anyone is looking for them.
Remember one very important thing; when ownership is established, so is legal liability. At the present the main contenders in this jousting match appear to be willing for ownership/liability to be settled in court should something happen worth litigating about.
At the present time the light has been “Abandoned” in Coast Guard terms. This happened when enough people complained about the light being out to the Coast Guard and they in turn pressured Warren Properties (the harbormaster) to fix it. Since the harbormaster had no means, boat, equipment, trained personnel, etc. to do the job, the paper work was finally done (I believe at the suggestion of the Coast guard) to make #1 and unlighted daybeacon and thus the light was “Abandoned”(turned off and so stated in the local Notice-to-Mariners). This still did and does not establish the OWNERSHIP of the pilings since Warren Properties is apparently under contract to only maintain the Channel markers. The question yet to be answered is: under contract/lease/indentured to whom? Beats the hell out of me! If this light is to ever be re-established, it must be re-established through a specific procedure, which will probably include the whole system of channel aids. The very first thing required by that procedure will be the name of the owner. Good Luck!
The Federal Government’s position: The Department of Transportation does not mark private channels. The Coast Guard is in the Dept. of Transportation. For the Coast Guard to maintain the aids to navigation marking the EI channel, which, by the way, would also make the Corps of Engineers responsible for the channel depth and width, (please note the separation of powers here) the channel must be proven to support interstate and or international commerce or be absolutely essential for marine safety (I’m not even sure the latter even applies anymore). This is not to say that someone in Eden Isles with great political influence cannot pull strings and get the job done. But if I was a betting man, I keep my money in my pocket on this one. However, if this harbor channel is going to be marked as a private channel (which it is) then it is the Coast Guards responsibility to insist that it is done right and that don’t mean cheap. (No Wal-Mart Lanterns, candles, luminaries, etc.). The Coast Guard will also insist that a person with a 24 telephone be named as the person they can call when the light is reported out. I was that person for about 2 years. Be ready to answer the phone a 2 AM and talk intelligently to the duty officer. The company and or person called did (I don’t know what the limit is now) have 10 days to fix the light with extensions for bad weather. I know from my drilling rig experience with private aids that after 10 days the Coast Guard gets a bit cranky with excuses.
The State owns the bottom of the channel but in the past wanted nothing to do with the pilings unless they were an environmental hazard. The La. DEQ is always interested in anything anyone is doing in the water, especially if it means fees.
The parish has no and wants no responsibility or authority in this matter. They would have to “Own” the pilings and assume liability of the pilings. Fat chance of that happening, except maybe if the Sheriff could be talked into it.
The Yacht Club has no responsibility or authority in this for the above same reasons as the Parish. Then again, put a bar out there on the pilings with the light and you may bet a nibble.
The Marina has already been discussed under Warren Properties.
The Sea Scouts could never determine ownership of the pilings and the Boy Scouts of America would have to assume ownership/liability anyway, so go figure for 30 microseconds on that one.
If the Eden Isles Homeowners’ Association wants to take on this project and form a LLC which will assume ownership, responsibility and liability, that’s up to the organization but remember, to do this you are going to have to get the present owner (whoever that is) to sign over the pilings. If you can find him, he would probably kiss your “feet” to get rid of the liability. I would suggest, if this is to be done, that the Association provide a prodigious amount of “Butt covering”.
Lets talk budget: Automatic Power can give the cost of the complete unit along with a parts list and prices. If the installation is done properly with an adequate solar charging panel, based on the initial operation of the last installation and my experience, You should: only have to change the bulbs once a year (including those that have not burned out), batteries every 4 years and the flasher and bulb changer should last indefinitely (but may not). The maintenance could be done on contract with Automatic Power or you could get trained to do it yourselves. It’s not hard, I’ve been told a blond can do it. I was blond when I had hair. The “skunk in the smokehouse” is: who is going to be the person with a suitable boat, like a party barge, who will be willing to be “Always Ready” to truck out to old EI #1 and (with ladder in hand) ascend the pilings and or assist in fixing the light and change daymarks? Now wait, let’s not have everybody trample each other trying to be first to volunteer. Note, this is not a weekend commitment, were talking a continual string of responsible people with suitable boats for the foreseeable future. Think about it!
There is a flip side to this also. Someone today must own the pilings. If there ever is a serious accident involving the channel and or the pilings/markers, the owner will be found and he (and everybody else) will be sued just the same for a missing daymark or “unlighted” piling as if the light was out. But an honest effort to have a properly marked, well maintained and lighted channel is a proper defense against such a suit. It has already been determined that it is unreasonable to expect a navigation light to be lit all the time. The bottom line, the phantom owner of the pilings/markers is going to get sued, light or no light. It is the cost of defending against such litigation that has everyone cowed. Ah, thus does the pocket book make cowards of us all.
I strongly urge anyone or any group that want to do this to FIRST call Coast Guard Information at the Hale Boggs Building in New Orleans. Get the name and telephone number of the Chief of Aids to navigation for the 8th Coast Guard District. Call him (or his designated administrator), make an appointment to sit down over a cup of coffee and completely discuss this problem/situation. They probably have old records on the channel and the light that may or may not identify an owner. Getting an owner to admit ownership however, may be a horse of a different color. Also the “A to N” people in the district office will probably have some liability cases and lawsuits that will curl your hair and make a sober Christian out of the worst of the lot. Then and only then will you learn why the Yacht Club gave up the idea of putting a lighted piling in the lake for a marker on Wednesday Night Races.
If this should come to pass, the only thing I would change in the design is the range of the light. The original channel light was a “3 mile” light but because of the local atmospheric haze I would make the light a “5 mile” light. This is no big deal. Good Luck and Bon Voyage.
I have retired!
* Question: How deep are the waterways and is it safe to swim in the waterways?
- Answer: Our waterways are man made and approximately 140 feet wide and 15 to 20 feet deep with a muddy clay bottom. Our waterways are affected by normal tidal action with no known rip tides, undertows or other unusually hazardous conditions. Alligators have been sighted occasionally in some waterways near highway 11. It is assumed that the alligators wandered in from the wild life management area on the other side of highway 11. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, people have drowned in our waterways and you should always ware a flotation device, never swim alone, supervise your children, and use caution.
In 2000, the Eden Isles Homeowners’ Association tested the quality of our waterways over a five-month period. 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 after a heavy rain. The readings within our private waterways never exceeded 50, and were considered safe for swimming; however, it is advisable not to go swimming for several days after a heavy rain.
Things you can do to keep our waterways clean are:
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.
* Question: How long can I keep my boat in the water before it gets barnacles?
- Answer: If your boat is not protected by antifouling paint barnacle growth may appear within one to weeks, depending on the time of the year.
* Question: How can I stop the soil erosion behind my bulkhead?
- Answer: Wait for a very low tide (normally in January or February) and fill the seams between the concrete panels and the handling holes with a sealant. Many neighbors have used expandable insulation foam that comes in an aerosol can called "Great Stuff"
* Question - What Happened To the Private Security Guards?
- Answer - The original developer provided guard service at Highway 11 (the only entrance to Eden Isles, at that time) at no charge to the property owners, but, as a result of their bankruptcy, the ownership was assumed by Eden Isles, Inc. and this free amenity ended. In 1981, with approval from the new developer, some interested residents formed a "Security Committee" independent of the Homeowners Association, in order to bring guard service back. Participation in funding the private security service was strictly voluntary and was never supported by all of the residents.
Several attempts were made to make participation in the security service mandatory; first, by attempting to incorporate the subdivision, install various in-house officials and levy mandatory charges on lot owners, this initiative was defeated by a citizen petition drive; second, in 1988 a community services district was formed to tax homeowners for guards and other amenities, but when this initiative was put on the ballot, it was defeated; third, in 1996, the building restrictions were amended to make payment for guard service mandatory, but the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that subdivision covenants could not be made more restrictive without 100% of the residents agreeing to the change.
In 1998, after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled the covenant change illegal, the security committee decided that they would no longer maintain guard service based on voluntary contributions and the service stopped. The security committee then asked our State Representatives to pass a law that would allow subdivision covenants to be made more restrictive. The result of their efforts was House Bill # 62, which allows subdivisions to amend their covenants with a 2/3 vote. However, the House Bill also provides for exemptions for property owners that do not want to be covered by the new covenants, thus making participation voluntary.
In May 2000, The Homeowners Association conducted an informal vote 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.
A Detailed History of the Private Security Service:
In 1981 when the developer stopped providing free private guard service a dedicated group of residents banded together to form The Eden Isles Security Committee, independent of the Homeowners' Association. The felt that a private security service improved property values and would help deter crime in our subdivision. Block captains were assigned to go from house-to-house and ask the residents to voluntarily contribute to a private security guard service. The Committee was composed of approximately 6-10 very dedicated people who worked long, hard hours without any compensation. Their meetings were always open to residents who were encouraged to attend. They wrote countless letters -- welcoming newcomers, coaxing nonpayers to help provide a service that could improve everyone's quality of life. It was a thankless job that incurred a lot more criticism than kudos.
Because our subdivision covenants have no provisions to assess property owners, funding for the security guard, the homeowner's association, and greenforce must rely strictly on voluntary participation. Participation among the homeowners varied from month to month, year to year. The security committee struggled to maintain the guard service while being subject to a host of criticism. Paying members complained about those that did not pay, about not having 24-hr. service, about the appearance of the guards and quality of service. The nonpaying homeowners complained about the inconvenience of waiting in line while the guard asked people, without decals or license plates, if they lived in the subdivision. The security committee answered their critics by saying that if more people paid, the guard hours could be extended and the quality of service would improve.
As the months and years went on, those that paid for security became frustrated with those that did not pay. Homeowner meetings turned into shouting matches. Homeowners that did not pay were called freeloading cheapskates. The names of the freeloaders and cheapskates were published in the newsletter in an attempt to embarrass them into paying. Paying members were given signs to place in their front yards to distinguish them from their nonpaying, freeloading, neighbors.
Those that did not pay for security resented the name calling, and constant pressure to pay for something they did not want. Rather than subject themselves to verbal attacks and name calling at the homeowner meetings they stopped attending the meetings and stopped supporting many other community projects.
Their position was, "we are not freeloaders, cheapskates or bad neighbors, we just don't want to be intimidated into paying for something that we do not believe in". They saw the security committee as arrogant bullies and it was unfair to attack them for their beliefs and publicly humiliate them for taking a position that they felt was correct and legal. They believed the guard was unnecessary, ineffective, a nuisance, and a safety hazard. Eden Isles did not have a crime problem. The streets are public, and a private guard has no authority to stop, restrict or question anyone from entering the subdivision. Eden Isles is also accessible by water and a security guard does not stop or deter thefts or vandalism committed by boat travelers. The security stop sign next to the Hwy. 11 guardhouse, created a safety hazard, and an in-home security system is a more effective crime deterrent and cost much less.
In this atmosphere of finger pointing and name calling the homeowner's association had our State Representatives create a community service district for Eden Isles in 1988. The purpose of the district was to allow the homeowner's association to tax Eden Isles homeowners for security and other services. 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, provide security, cutting of vacant lots, recreation and 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. The opponents felt the district was snuck through the Legislature without notifying all the residents of Eden Isles. They voiced their opposition to creating another layer of government and additional taxes for services that they were already paying for.
The Community Services District struggled for over two years to establish agreement among the residents, but failed, and the district was abolished in July 1990. As a result of the failed district, the bad feeling between those in favor of private security and those against it grew.
Once again the security committee continued to provide guard services through voluntary contributions while looking for ways to require all residents to contribute. In 1996, an effort was made to revise the subdivision covenants to add mandatory payment for a security service.
Supporters of the guard service organized a petition drive to revise the covenants making payment for security mandatory. In March 1997, after months of hard work the security committee determined they had obtained the correct number of 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. As the lawsuit made its way through the legal system the name calling, finger pointing, and accusations dominated our newsletter and homeowner meeting. 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 the service stopped. The security committee immediately joined forces with Briar Lake Subdivision and asked our State Representatives to pass a law that would allow subdivision covenants to be made more restrictive. 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 (See enclosed copy of HB #62).
In 1999, 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 Homeowner's Board of Directors a covenant revision that included mandatory assessments. The Homeowner's 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.
For your information:
HOUSE BILL NO. 62
BY REPRESENTATIVES SCHNEIDER, BRUNEAU, DONELON, MCMAINS, WINSTON, BRUCE, CLARKSON, COPELIN, CRANE, CURTIS, DANIEL, DIEZ, DURAND, FLAVIN, FRITH, GAUTREAUX, JENKINS, MICHOT, PERKINS, SHAW, JOHN SMITH, AND STELLY AND SENATORS LAMBERT, DARDENNE, AND HAINKEL
To amend and reenact Civil Code Articles 776, 780, and 783 and to enact Part II-B of Chapter 1 of Code Title I of Code Book II of Title 9 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to be comprised of R.S. 9:1141.1 through 1141.9, all relative to the use of property burdened with building restrictions; to clarify the codal authority to amend such restrictions, generally; to provide specifically for the application of such restrictions in residential planned communities and to statutorily recognize homeowners' communities; to provide definitions and applicability of the Louisiana Homeowners Association Act; to provide for the establishment, amendment, and termination of building restrictions imposed on homeowners association property; to provide with respect to enforcement of such restrictions; and to provide for
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
Section 1. Civil Code Articles 776, 780, and 783 are hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows:
Art. 776. Establishment
A. Building restrictions may be established only by juridical act executed by the owner of an immovable or by all the owners of the affected immovables.
B. Once established, building restrictions may be amended or terminated as provided in this Title.
* * *
Art. 780. Amendment and termination of building restrictions
A. Building restrictions may be amended, whether such amendment lessens or increases a restriction, or may terminate or be terminated, as provided in the act that establishes them.
B. In the absence of such provision, building restrictions may be amended or terminated for the whole or a part of the restricted area by agreement of owners representing more than one-half of the land area affected by the restrictions, excluding streets and street rights-of-way, if the restrictions have been in effect for at least fifteen
years, or by agreement of both owners representing two-thirds of the land area affected and two-thirds of the owners of the land affected by the restrictions, excluding streets and street rights-of-way, if the restrictions have been in effect for more than ten years.
* * *
Art. 783. Matters of interpretation and application
A. Doubt as to the existence, validity, or extent of building restrictions is resolved in favor of the unrestricted use of the immovable.
B. The provisions of the Louisiana Condominium Act, the Louisiana Timesharing Act, and the Louisiana Homeowners Association Act, all of Chapter 1 of Code Title I of Code Book II of Title 9 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, shall supersede any
and all provisions of this Title in the event of a conflict.
Section 2. Part II-B of Chapter 1 of Code Title I of Code Book II of Title 9 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to be comprised of R.S. 9:1141.1 through 1141.9, is hereby enacted to read as follows:
PART II-B. LOUISIANA HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION ACT
SUBPART A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§1141.1. Short title
This Part shall be known as the "Louisiana Homeowners Association Act".
As used in this Part, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) "Association property" means all the property either held by the association or commonly held by the members of the association, or both, and lots privately held by members of the association.
(2) "Common area" means property owned or otherwise maintained, repaired, or administered by the association for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of its members.
(3) "Community documents" means the articles of incorporation, bylaws, plat, declarations, covenants, conditions, restrictions, rules and regulations, or other written instrument, including any amendment thereto, by which the association has the authority to exercise any of its powers to manage, maintain, or otherwise affect the
association property or which otherwise govern the use of association property.
(4) "Declaration" means any instrument, however denominated, that establishes or regulates, or both, a residential planned community, and any amendment thereto.
(5) "Homeowners association" or "association" means a nonprofit corporation, unincorporated association, or other legal entity, which is created pursuant to a declaration, whose members consist primarily of lot owners, and which is created to manage or regulate, or both, the residential planned community.
(6) "Lot" means any plot or parcel of land designated for separate ownership shown on a recorded subdivision plat for a residential development or the boundaries of which are otherwise described in a recorded instrument, other than common area, within the
jurisdiction of the residential community as such area is described in the community documents.
(7) "Residential planned community" or "planned community" means a real estate development, used primarily for residential purposes, in which the owners of separately owned lots are mandatory members of an association by virtue of such ownership.
A. The provisions of this Part shall be applicable to existing and future residential planned communities whose declarations have been duly executed and filed for registry. However, this Part shall not be construed to affect the validity or superiority of any provision of a community document. Only to the extent the community documents
are silent shall the provisions of this Part apply.
B.(1) This Part shall not apply to condominium property governed by the provisions of Part II of this Chapter.
(2) The provisions of Part II-A of this Chapter shall be applicable to an ownership timeshare interest created in a lot within a planned community to the extent that those provisions do not conflict with the provisions of this Part.
C. This Part shall not impair any right that is guaranteed or protected by the constitution of this state or the United States, nor shall this Part be construed to affect any act done, offense or violation committed, or right accrued.
D. This Part shall not be construed to impair or cast a cloud upon the titles of common areas or lots within a residential planned community.
SUBPART B. BUILDING RESTRICTIONS
§1141.4. Building restrictions; matters of interpretation
The existence, validity, or extent of a building restriction affecting any association property shall be liberally construed to give effect to its purpose and intent.
§1141.5. Building restrictions; generally, affirmative duty, and common areas
A. Building restrictions affecting the building standards, specified uses, or improvements of association property may be established, amended, or terminated in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
B. Such building restrictions may include the imposition of an affirmative duty, including the affirmative duty to pay monthly or periodic dues or fees, or assessments for a particular expense or capital improvement, that are reasonable for the maintenance, improvement, or safety, or any combination thereof, of the planned community.
C. Such building restrictions may also regulate the building standards, specified uses, and improvements of common areas of a homeowners association, including but not limited to the regulation of passage, ingress, and egress upon common areas, streets, and street rights-of-way.
§1141.6. Establishment, amendment, or termination of building
A. Building restrictions affecting association property,
including lots or common areas, or those imposing an affirmative duty
may be established, amended, or terminated in accordance with the
terms of the applicable community document.
B. In the absence of a provision for the establishment,
amendment, or termination of such building restrictions in the
(1) Building restrictions may be established by agreement of
three-fourths of the lot owners.
(2) Existing building restrictions may be made more onerous or
increased by agreement of two-thirds of the lot owners.
(3) Existing building restrictions may be made less onerous,
reduced, or terminated by agreement of more than one-half of the lot
C.(1) Once established, or amended to be more onerous,
building restrictions become a charge on the property and affect all
current owners and, once recorded in the public records, affect all
subsequent owners. Except for building restrictions relating to
assessments or common areas, no new or more onerous building
restriction shall impose a duty on the current owner to act affirmatively
or remove or renovate any existing structure. All new or replacement
structures, however, shall be subject to the new or more onerous
(2) Once amended to be less onerous, the building restriction
constitutes a reduction of the charge on the property, and once
terminated, the property is released of its former charge, affecting all
current and subsequent owners.
D.(1) When building restrictions are established under the
provisions of Paragraph B of this Section, rather than by the community
documents, an owner may file with the association and the clerk of
court a statement declining to be covered by the building restrictions.
Such document must be filed within thirty days of the establishment of
such building restrictions.
(2) When building restrictions relative to set-backs or minimum
square footage requirements are established or made more onerous
under the provisions of Paragraph B of this Section, rather than the
community documents, the owner of an unimproved lot is exempt from
complying with such new or more onerous restrictions.
(3) An "owner" under the provisions of this Subsection means
the owner or owners at the time the restriction was established or made
more onerous and the waivers of compliance provided in this
Subsection are personal to that owner.
§1141.7. Agreement of owners; voting
A. Each lot represents a single vote which can be exercised by
the signature or other indication of the registered lot owner or of a
single co-owner, the latter of which is presumed to be acting on behalf
of the other co-owners. A plot or parcel of unimproved land which is
substantially larger than a majority of other lots in the association,
however, shall be treated as separate lots, the number of which to be
roughly determined by the size of the land in relation to other lots. The
ownership interest in common areas, streets, or street rights-of-way
does not constitute a voting interest.
B. For purposes of this Subpart, an agreement of lot owners
may be obtained by any of the following methods, or a combination
(1) By a written ballot that states the substance of the issue
before the owners and specifies the date by which the return ballot
must be received to be counted. The ballot shall be accompanied by
the full text of the building restriction being established, amended, or
terminated and shall be mailed to the owner by certified mail not less
than thirty days prior to the date by which the return ballot must be
(2) At a meeting of the owners if written notice of the meeting
stating the purpose of the meeting is delivered to each lot owner. The
notice shall be accompanied by an agenda of the meeting and the full
text of the building restriction being established, amended, or
terminated. Such notice shall be mailed to the owner, by certified mail,
not less than thirty days prior to the date of the meeting.
SUBPART C. ENFORCEMENT
§1141.8. Community documents; force of law
The community documents of residential planned communities
shall have the force of law between the homeowners association and
the individual lot owners and as between individual lot owners. The
remedies for breach of any obligation imposed on lot owners or the
association shall include damages, injunctions, or such other remedies
as are provided by law.
§1141.9. Homeowners association privilege
In addition to any other remedies provided by law or by the
community documents for nonpayment of assessments, a homeowners
association as defined in this Part may utilize the provisions of Part III
of this Chapter establishing a privilege on lots of delinquent owners for
nonpayment of assessments.
Section 3. This Act shall become effective upon signature by the
governor or, if not signed by the governor, upon expiration of the time for bills
to become law without signature by the governor, as provided in Article III,
Section 18 of the Constitution of Louisiana. If vetoed by the governor and
subsequently approved by the legislature, this Act shall become effective on
the day following such approval.
Section 4. The provisions of this Act legislatively overrule the case of
Brier Lake, Inc. v. Jones, 97-C-2413 (La. 4/14/98); 710 So.2d 1054, are
remedial, and shall apply both prospectively and retroactively.
* Question: What are Group Homes & “The Oxford House”?
- Answer: Following Katrina, two homes were placed under control of the Oxford House by an owner/s eager to rent his property. The “Oxford” homes are for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. One home was an all male facility, the other for females.
These “houses” are protected by the Disabilities Act as managed through the “Oxford House” program. See www.oxfordhouse.org
These homes are registered with the state and are monitored through them. Unfortunately, the homeowner’s association has checked all avenues and cannot do anything about these “homes” even though zoning calls for “single family residential”.
Citing privacy laws, the “Oxford House” cannot tell us anything in particular about residents of their operations. If you ever feel that you are in danger from the residents of these types of homes or anything that is a safety concern, please call 911 to notify the police.
See www.oxfordhouse.org for more information.
* Question: Who enforces the Eden Isles covenants?
- Answer, You do!
Unlike Oak Harbor or Clipper Estates the Eden Isles Homeowners Association does not have the authority to place liens on properties that violate our covenants. Our covenants can only be enforced through legal action and any individual has the authority to bring legal action against any violator (go to eihoa.org and read the enforcement paragraph in the covenants).
Taking legal action against covenant violators is expensive and most individuals and the association does not have the funds necessary to hire a lawyer and go through the legal process required to resolve covenant disputes. Dues received by the association barely cover the cost of maintaining our park grounds and paying for a few other amenities to improve the quality of life in our community (see the associations’ mission statement on eihoa.org). If everyone paid their dues then funds would be available to take legal action against violators, but that simply is not an option at this time.
What the association has attempted to do, on your behalf, is encourage the sheriff’s department and the parish code department to enforce their ordinances, which parallel our covenants very closely (links to parish ordinance can be found on our website eihoa.org). Blighted homes, vehicles and boat trailers stored on public streets and on park grounds, overgrown lots, litter, etc. are all violations of parish laws and ordinances and the sheriff’s department and parish code department have the responsibility, the authority and the resources to enforce these laws and ordinances.
The association board members are unpaid volunteers that unselfishly take time out of their busy schedules to help improve the quality of life for everyone living in our island paradise. The board understands and shares your frustration and they have tried very hard to get the sheriff and parish to honor their commitments, but the board is not the neighborhood police department and they have as much authority to enforce our covenants or parish ordinances as you do. Many times the sheriff or parish code department will be more responsive if an individual calls rather than a board member.
So rather than call a board member to complain about a neighbor’s dog defecating on your lawn or a blighted house or overgrown lot or a boat or motor home stored on the street why don’t you first try to resolve the issue with your neighbor. If that doesn’t work then call the public agency that takes your taxes and is responsible for enforcement and has the resources and authority to correct the problem (you can find their phone numbers in the newsletter or on the website).
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Together we can work towards waterfront living at its best.
* Question: What are the Bridge Clearances from Eden Isles into Oak Harbor ?
- Answer: June 13, 2012 by Raymond Frey
bridge located on the I-10 side of Eden Isles Dr. measures approximately 8’5”
clearing from the bottom of the bridge to the top of the concrete bulk head in
The bridge located on the Hwy 11 side of Eden Isles Dr. measures approximately 8’10” clearing from the bottom of the bridge to the top of the concrete bulk head in Eden Isles.
To get the actual total clearance for any given day, you must account for the tides.
- Add the measured difference in water height from the top of the concrete bulkheads in Eden Isles to the current water height to get the total clearance for any given day & time.
For example, today the total clearance on the bridge by I-10 was 10’, 9”. Also remember, the clearance on the bridge by Hwy. 11 is always 5” greater.
…………… This “FAQ” list updated as of June 19, 2012