Jan 14, 2014 11:22 PM by Steven Albritton
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel is telling his staff not to enforce a camper ordinance, even though it initially came from members of his staff and was passed by the council. The ordinance bans RV's and campers from being used as permanent homes. It was proposed by the Department of Planning and Zoning. The council passed the ordinance back in the fall, but it was quickly vetoed by Durel. The veto was then overturned by the council in a unanimous vote.
As far as Durel is concerned, the ordinance is nothing more than just writing on a piece of paper.
"I thought it was a real bad ordinance as it relates to property rights, but most importantly for me I felt it gave the city-parish president too much discretion," Durel said.
Durel says the ordinance gives his office the power to "pick and choose" enforcement, which he says isn't fair.
"It would make a vindictive city parish president able to punish their enemies while rewarding their friends. I've never not enforced an ordinance that the council has passed. Our job is to enforce those ordinances.This ordinance uniquely gives us the ability not to enforce it. That in itself tells you its got to be fixed."
Then there's the question of, why. If Durel says the ordinance needs to be fixed, why was it proposed by his office in the first place. He says he didn't agree with the ordinance, but it was something put together by two council members and members of his staff.
Council President, Kevin Naquin. says the issue at the heart of the ordinance, is something that needs to be addressed.
"Everybody pretty much knew that the ordinance as is was going to have to come back to get tweaked, but we just wanted to be able to get the protection and have planning and zoning something to actually have on the books," Naquin said.
Naquin says there are discussions about the ordinance currently going on, but isn't sure when it could be brought back up for discussion.