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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Beachfront Development Board tries new approach to Fourchon Beach

Beachfront Development Board tries new approach to Fourchon Beach

Photo by Babs

The South Lafourche Beachfront Development District will try another approach to gaining Fourchon Beach access—asking the landowners for less.

SLBDD’s recent offer to the Caillouet Land Company of $275,000 for about 44 acres of beachfront was promptly dismissed by Caillouet as being far too low a price for the property. 

When Caillouet rejected the offer, SLBDD considered expropriation.

Caillouet subsequently made it clear that any attempt at expropriation would be fought by the landowners.

SLBDD now believes that a protracted expropriation battle would cost much more than the District can afford.

The problem is compounded by the Caminada Headlands Project, an ongoing reclamation of Fourchon Beach, which will recreate land on SLBDD’s right of way claim and is part of the 44 acres.

Even if SLBDD were to win an expropriation case, one storm could potentially wash any new beachfront back into the Gulf of Mexico, and their claim would be under water again.

Consequently, and while keeping its 44 acre offer on the table, the SLBDD board has now agreed to seek an appraisal of access routes going east and west along the inside of the dune, hoping the Caillouet Land Co. may acquiesce to allowing use of a smaller area of land. 

SLBDD will also reassess the value of the 44 acres since the original appraisal is now over a year old.

Board attorney Loulan Pitre advised members on Wednesday to draw up a specific plan for use of a smaller east-west access and then seek an appraiser for both the smaller and the 44-acre projects.

Board Chairman Ricky Cheramie was hopeful that a less costly project might be favorably viewed by both the landowners and the parish.

“We’ll be asking the Council and the people to vote on this thing.  I’d rather give them the choice and maybe build a smaller project,” he said.