Judge refuses to toss Youngsville suit against Broussard
LAFAYETTE — A state judge declined to toss out a lawsuit Monday filed by Youngsville to block an annexation by the neighboring city of Broussard — the latest litigation in ongoing battles over land in fast-growing southern Lafayette Parish.
Youngsville filed a lawsuit earlier this year to contest Broussard’s annexation of a 40-foot-by-40-foot parcel near Heart D Farm Road and La. 89.
Broussard officials argue the small tract, an island of sorts beyond the existing Broussard city limits, is needed for a sewer lift station to extend service to new commercial and residential developments, both inside and outside the city.
Youngsville counters the annexation is an effort by Broussard to claim a piece of property that will serve as a roadblock to make it more difficult for Youngsville to annex land in the area.
Youngsville City Attorney George Knox wrote in court filings the annexation “serves no purpose to Broussard except to frustrate or impede Youngsville in its annexation efforts.”
At a court hearing Monday, Broussard’s attorney, Allan Durand, said Youngsville has no right to challenge its neighbor’s annexation, arguing state law generally allows annexation challenges only from someone who owns the property in question or a resident of the city doing the annexation.
“Nowhere does the law give a city the right to contest the annexation of another city,” Durand said.
Fifteenth Judicial District Judge John Trahan disagreed, ruling Youngsville can move forward with the lawsuit.
The tract in question is owned by Broussard, but Knox said Youngsville had already annexed a small piece of the property.
The 40-foot-by-40-foot section in dispute is near a larger 75-acre tract that is the subject of a separate annexation lawsuit.
The owner of that parcel, Lorena Rose LLC, filed a lawsuit in July to contest Youngsville’s annexation of the property.
The owners have been working to develop the land and had sought to have Broussard annex the property, saying strict regulations in Youngsville drive up the expense of development by $2,000 per residential lot.
The annexation battles come after a legal settlement in June between the cities of Broussard and Lafayette that ended three years of bitter wrangling over annexations along the new stretch of Ambassador Caffery Parkway through southern Lafayette Parish.