State Representative sues city department and neighbors over zoning violations

Kyle Barnett Sep. 10, 2012, 1:56am

Neil Abramson

NEW ORLEANS – A state representative from New Orleans has sued a city department and his neighbors for allegedly violating city building codes.

Representative Neil Abramson (D-New Orleans) filed suit against the Department of Safety and Permits, City of New Orleans and Kendall and Jennifer Chauvin in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on July 17.

Abramson claims he has been living at 906 Arabellea St. for the past 15 years and the Chauvins recently purchased an adjoining property at 5701 Camp St.

The plaintiff alleges the Chauvins immediately applied for permits to restore their garage and install a swimming pool and covered deck in their backyard. Abramson asserts that upon receiving permits to begin construction his neighbors tore down their garage and poured the foundation for a larger garage that violated city code that disallows over 40 percent of a yard to be paved.

The Department of Safety and Permits was notified the Chauvins lacked a permit to tear down their garage and build a new one and construction was halted until they received the appropriate permit, the suit claims.

Abramson alleges that the construction work is still in violation because it covers more than 40 percent of the Chauvins' backyard in violation of city code. In addition, the Chauvins allegedly violated city code by not setting the new garage 10 feet back from the street and that covered decking as well cannot be built along the property line without setting it back.

The city is accused of erroneous permitting.

Abramson seeks a temporary restraining order against the construction, an immediate work stop order and correction of work inconsistent with zoning laws.

Abramson, who is an attorney with New Orleans-based Lisko & Lewis, is representing himself in the case.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case no. 2012-06944.

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