"We're very pleased with it," Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator says of the settlement. "This is going to help us move forward."
The city of Youngsville has resolved a more than year-old lawsuit seeking to block its annexation of about 50 acres of land skirting Ambassador South. On Thursday, District Judge John Trahan signed a motion to dismiss the suit filed by property-development company Bridges-Carpenter Properties LLC, the plaintiff in the case. The motion to dismiss was filed "with prejudice," meaning Bridges-Carpenter agrees to pursue no further litigation in the case.
The company filed suit in July 2010 shortly after Youngsville annexed the acreage. About 14 acres of Bridges-Carpenter property was part of the overall annexation. The city of Broussard, which has competed with Youngsville and Lafayette to acquire land along what was then the newly opened stretch of Ambassador, originally joined the suit against Youngsville, but a judge ruled Broussard didn't have standing in the case. Youngsville went to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal seeking to have the suit dismissed, arguing that because Bridges-Carpenter is a corporation and not a person, it didn't have standing to file suit either. The appeals court ruled against Youngsville.
In settling the suit with Bridges-Carpenter, Youngsville has agreed to de-annex about half of the original 14 acres belonging to the company and move it back into unincorporated Lafayette Parish. The resolution clears the way for new development on the prime real estate in south Lafayette Parish - development that has been on hold since the suit was filed.
"We're very pleased with it," Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator says of the settlement. "This is going to help us move forward. There's a lot of interest in that area. There were a lot of developers that were looking at land in that area and they weren't going to do anything until this thing was settled. Now that it's settled I think we'll start seeing a lot of activity in that area."