Lafayette, Broussard reach accord in land dispute

Festering litigation between Lafayette and Broussard over annexations along Ambassador Caffery in southern Lafayette Parish has been tentatively settled, an attorney in the case said.

The settlement, if finalized, calls on Lafayette to void its annexation of one tract and for Broussard to agree to restrictions on future annexations along Ambassador Caffery on the southern outskirts of Lafayette, according to attorney Allan Durand, who represents Broussard in the dispute.

“We have all signed off on it. The parties have agreed to all the essential terms,” Durand said.

Lafayette City-Parish Attorney Mike Hebert declined to release any documents detailing the agreement, writing in an email that he believes the documents are not open to the public until a formal settlement is finalized.

The settlement would end a lawsuit brought by Broussard challenging Lafayette’s annexation of more than 200 acres along the new four-lane extension of Ambassador Caffery.

The road, which serves the fastest-growing area of the parish, is expected to become a major commercial corridor. Lafayette and Broussard each stand to gain from tax collections should the area boom.

The neighboring cities began battling over annexations along the road soon after it opened in 2010.

Three years later, there has been little development along the new route.

That could be due in part to the pending litigation, which has left open the question of which city will provide municipal services and when.

Sara Gary, with Lafayette’s Department of Planning, Zoning and Codes, told a City-Parish Council committee Friday that she expects a rush of building permits once the annexation litigation is resolved.

“We have a lot of people who want to develop but can’t because they can’t get services,” she said.

Durand said that under the proposed settlement, Lafayette will void its annexation of roughly 40 acres near the intersection of Chemin Metairie and Ambassador Caffery.

The owners of the property initially sought to be annexed by Broussard, Durand said.

Broussard could try to annex the property, though Lafayette could still contest the annexation, Durand said.

Broussard, in exchange for the voided annexation, will agree to not attempt any more annexations on the south side of Ambassador Caffery in an area that begins just west of Chemin Metairie and ends at the Lafayette line, about one mile, Durand said.

“We will not go past Chemin Metairie,” Durand said.

Officials in Lafayette and Broussard announced in April that they were working to resolve the annexation dispute.