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Residents bring concrete barrier dispute before parish council

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 00:06:02-05

The right of way dispute over a concrete barrier continues in Opelousas.

That barrier separates two subdivisions. One being Shawnee Hills and the other, The Ranch.

One on side, residents argue saying the barrier is blocking a public right of way and posing a public safety risk.

But on the other side, a subdivision claiming it's a legal boundary separating private property.

KATC's Taylor Toole says nothing was decided at Wednesday night's council meeting over the barrier, but it could make its way to court again.

Albert Gros, resident of The Ranch, tell KATC, "This is not about a barricade, this is about educating our emergency response teams."

Alexis Thomas, a Shawnee Hills residents, says, "My question is, Why are private citizens allowed to do this? Don't we elect officials to protect us from rogue citizens?"

This all started New Year's Even when a truck caught fire in The Shawnee Hills subdivision.

Neighbors say the quickest way into the subdivision for firefighters was blocked by that barrier.

But those living in neighboring subdivision, The Ranch, argue the issue was resolved years ago, and the GPS systems for first responders need to be centralized.

Gros states, "There is plenty of data to support that single entry subdivisions do have a safety - a higher safety record than multi-entry subdivsions."

Thomas says, "You understand how important time is when it comes to saving a life when it comes to an emerency and you're going to sit here and say that you care? No you dont."

As Taylor reported Tuesday night, parish attorneys say the matter was resolved years ago, and the road was closed off at the barrier. But neighbors in Shawnee Hills are still planning to fight and hoping to have the courts take another look.

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