Cypress Lake resident upset over breaking of covenants

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A Cypress Lake resident is concerned that his neighborhood’s covenants were broken by two government entities. 

Marvin Stokes, a resident of the Cypress Village Subdivision, is concerned that the Bossier Parish Police Jury and the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission allowed a metal building structure to be built in his neighborhood, which he says breaks his neighborhood’s covenants.

“The Police Jury allowed a metal building that is 20 feet tall in our subdivision. I don’t know who was able to do that,” Stokes said. “The police jury really messed up. Nobody checked the covenants of this subdivision here. They just approved it.”

Stokes also states that with the metal structure decreases his and his neighbors’ property value.

Upset about the situation, he contacted the Bossier Parish Police Jury with his concerns.

Listed below is a copy of a response letter that Bossier Parish Police Jury Administrator Bill Altimus sent Stokes regarding the issue, “Please be aware that the Bossier Parish Police Jury does not enforce the various restrictive covenants found in subdivisions throughout the parish. This task is reserved for  the various Homeowners Associations (HOA’s) or any individual homeowner who feels a violation of the covenants has occurred. The HOA or homeowner is responsible for bringing forth a legal action in this area.”

Seeking more answers on why he or his neighbors were not notified about the structure being built, Stokes reached out to Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) Director Sam Marsiglia. 

Marsiglia says the MPC offices, Bossier Parish Police Jury, or any city government do not enforce subdivision covenants. He also pointed out that Stokes’ subdivision does not have a homeowners association or an architectural control committee. 

“Covenants are private agreements between landowners and the subdivision. The recourse for violation of covenants is a civil matter between the parties,” Marsiglia explained. “Governmental bodies do not enforce private agreements like that between property owners. The location of this building met all set requirements and zoning regulation requirements, so it was approved.”

He went on to explain what the MPC does look for when approving a building, for clarity.

“What the MPC office looks at when building permits for accessory buildings or houses are submitted to us for review. We look at the site plans for compliance to zoning regulations — the location of the building, size, set backs. We do not review what the building looks like, what type of materials are used. We review it strictly for zoning regulation compliance,” Marsiglia said.

“With approval of a building permit, we don’t notify surrounding property owners,” he concluded.