St. Charles Herald-Guide

Neighborhood eyesore

By M. Susanne Hinkle - August 17, 2006

Residents of Ormond subdivision and neighboring streets know all too well the problem with trash, overgrown grass and irresponsible landlords that line the streets of Carriage Lane.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, residents and parish officials were involved in a battle against heaps of trash, abandoned automobiles and blighted apartment buildings that resulted in only a temporary clean-up.

“When I was making my decision to move to Carriage Lane after Hurricane Katrina, I saw improvements on the street.  New buildings were coming up and I thought the other problems would improve as well,” said Keirston Williams, a Carriage Lane resident.  “There are kids sitting on the backs of cars smoking marijuana.  When the police come, they hide and minutes later are back on the street up to no good.  I used to sit in my residence looking out of the window and could see these kids breaking the law.  People that live in other parts of Ormond don’t seem to think that Carriage Lane is their problem.  But their children are hanging out back here surrounded by bad influences,” Williams added.

Councilman for District 3 “Ram” Ramchandran,   is working diligently to improve conditions on Carriage Lane.  “I have done some things to help the new residents feel safer, such as installing new more powerful lighting and asked Sheriff Champagne to increase patrols in the area.  In certain cases involving landlords who do not keep up their properties, the parish has cut their grass and charged the landlords for the work.”

“Planning and zoning has been working to help improve the area.  It seems that after Katrina, somebody else’s problem moved into St. Charles Parish.  We do have an increase in crime in the parish.  Residents should band together to enforce proper maintenance on buildings and help clean up the area.  I have a lot of arrows in my pouch. I don’t want to use them but I will if forced,” concluded Ramchandran.
Al Beaubouef, a developer on Carriage Lane, expressed great concern regarding his property values decreasing.  “I have putting up three new units on Carriage Lane.  The landlords on the street responsible for blighted or unkempt apartment buildings should be held accountable.”

Many residents have posed the idea of the parish forcing out the blighted apartment buildings and removing Section 8 housing from the area.  To that Ramchandran commented, “That is a legal issue and unfortunately, that takes a great deal of time.”

Carriage Lane, a long time source of frustration for local residents, is burdened with blighted apartment buildings and over-grown grass.
Carriage Lane, a long time source of frustration for local residents, is burdened with blighted apartment buildings and over-grown grass.