Garry "Frog" Talbert

A proposed ordinance District 2 Livingston Parish Councilman Garry "Frog" Talbert will introduce to the full council will impose limits on dirt-fill on new residential lots. He will introduce the legislation at the March 28 meeting. 

LIVINGSTON – An ordinance proposed by a Livingston Parish Councilman could impose limits on the mount of fill on residential property.

District 2 Councilman Garry “Frog” Talbert proposed the limits to the dirt elevations on homes during a Feb. 28 meeting of the Parish Council Ordinance Committee.

The move to elevate homes has become common in the wake of the August 2016, particularly through mandates from FEMA and insurance companies on new homes in flood zones.

“It creates a conundrum because you have people trying to protect their homes, but that higher elevation may mean a greater threat of floodwater on their neighbors,” Talbert said.

Former Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez, who now serves as a spokesman for Sen. Bill Cassidy, said the current ordinance in his parish imposes a limit of three feet on lots three feet or less, but does not limit it on larger lots.

In Ascension Parish, the determining criteria for land subject to the requirement covers lots below base-flood elevation, as determined by parish benchmarks, regardless if FEMA flood insurance maps list the property in a recognized flood zone.

For individual lots, the fill is  limited to the foundation of the structure and not extend more than 24 inches beyond the limits of the foundation before it begins to slope.

The discussion will remain in committee discussion before it goes to the full council.

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