Jefferson Parish sued for denying bar's application

Michelle Massey Sep. 20, 2010, 8:38am

A Louisiana businessman has filed a lawsuit against Jefferson Parish for arbitrarily denying his application to build a new bar outside of the Fat City area.

Blue Monkey Bar LLC filed suit against Jefferson Parish and Jefferson Parish Council on Sept. 6 in federal court in New Orleans.

Blue Monkey owner Brian Brothers states he began to look for a location to open a daiquiri shop in Metairie in 2009 by studying the Jefferson Parish ordinances applicable to this type of business.

When he settled on a location at 2929 North Causeway Blvd., Brothers says approached the Jefferson Parish Planning Department to determine the proper course of action.

Brothers says he was told to start the process, that he must have a leasehold interest in the property. He claims he secured a 10-year lease and began developing the property while awaiting the first of two required hearings prior to the eventual Jefferson Parish Council approval meeting. He claims he complied with the Planning Department's requests by installing security cameras and executing trash abatement contracts.

However, his "fully compliant application" was denied, he claims.

Brothers states his application was rejected upon Omni Bank's belief that that Blue Monkey was inconsistent with the overall business climate in the area, although there are at least three other bars within a four-block radius.

"The proposed Blue Monkey Bar matches the character of the neighborhood perfectly, and would not in any way alter or diminish it in any way," the lawsuit reads.

Brothers claims the defendant has violated his rights of substantive due process and equal protection, unconstitutional taking of property right and Louisiana constitutional violations.

The bar owner is asking the court for an award of damages for "arbitrary and capricious enforcement of rules, regulations and ordinances," lost profits and lost earnings, consequential and incidental damages, exemplary and punitive damages.

Blue Monkey Bar is represented by Marc R. Michaud in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02947

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