Councilman Garry 'Frog' Talbert - District 2

Councilman Garry 'Frog' Talbert - District 2

LIVINGSTON -- In a controversial vote, the Parish Council passed a resolution to send a letter to the administration, demanding they send Premier Concrete back through the entire commercial permitting process.

Resolutions, as mentioned several times during the meeting Thursday night, are not binding.

The motion came from Garry "Frog" Talbert (District 2), seconded by Maurice Scooter Keen (District 3), to send the letter.

The yaes were:

  1. Talbert (District 2)
  2. Keen (District 3)
  3. Ard (District 1)
  4. Girlinghouse (District 7)
  5. Mack (District 9)

The naes were:

  1. Wascom (District 4)
  2. Averette (District 6)
  3. Lobell (District 8)
  4. Harris (District 5)

According to Talbert, he spoke to the parish administration in March and said he expected the administration to make Premier Concrete follow the rules. According to Talbert, he was told they would.

"The rules include a sign posting, going through planning, a public hearing," Talbert said.

This was after the project at Premier Concrete, which is a 46-person dormitory, began construction in January. Talbert discovered the project after he was informed by a Premier neighbor, Stephen Muller, that there was a building being erected on the property.

Watson dormitory

An aerial shot of the new dormitory going up at Premier Concrete in Watson

Kevin Landreneu, attorney for Premier Concrete, accused Talbert of bringing the issue back up because it was election time and he had a challenger. Landreneu also stated that Talbert only self-reported his office, which he only pulled a flood repair permit, because he was called out.

Landreneu went on to state that this issue was based on illegal immigrants.

Talbert stressed that he was bringing the problem back up because to his knowledge commercial permits had been issued without a sign posting, planning, or a public hearing being included in the process. He will also be going through planning for his commercial building in September after self-reporting due to another business having the same issue in 2018.

In July, parish council attorney Chris Moody said the parish council was "out of the game" as "generally" the parish administration would handle any permitting issues as they appeared. Moody also said that property owners had certain vested rights thanks to permits being issued.

Talbert would not accept that answer, as he believed the permitting process was done incorrectly and that the project had no vested interest due to case law he cited from New Orleans, as inspected by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated that permits issued improperly or falsely did not carry vested rights.

The council was informed that construction had been halted at Premier Concrete while permits will still being issued, however, Talbert said that permits were still being issued as of April, May, and June.

Landreneu said that Premier Concrete would submit a drainage study and build a fence, per commercial requirements.

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