Land owner says drainage ditch is in the wrong spot
BATON ROUGE - A land fight has been brewing for years and one property owner called 2 On Your Side for help. The issue is over an encroaching drainage canal that might be swallowing up property that's been in the family for decades.
Morris Drury bought the land in 1972, long before a neighboring development was built next door. In the last decade, Drury says some of his property has been taken over by drainage and he's fighting to get it back.
Steve Regan, Drury's son, helped explain the situation Monday. He says Carriagewood Estates was developed in 2007 and a 15-foot servitude stood between his dad's property and the development's property. A drainage ditch was dug along with the development's construction. After complaining to the City-Parish about its poor overgrown condition in 2010, Regan says a crew responded and cleaned out the ditch. In the process, Regan says the ditch was moved onto his dad's property.
"In 2010, when they last dug out the ditch, they jogged the ditch over onto his property because they didn't want to interfere with things put in the servitude by the landowners," Regan said.
Over the last decade, Drury has been trying to get his land back.
Monday, 2 On Your Side took a ride out to the drainage ditch that Drury says has been moved. It's in the rear of his 14-acre piece of land. Drury and Regan pointed out the spot where the ditch makes a slight curve onto the property, instead of making a straight line through the servitude. Regan says someone planted trees in the servitude, which he says is why he thinks the ditch was moved when it was cleaned those years ago.
Following an inquiry by 2 On Your Side, the City-Parish has been researching this land dispute. It says there are records going back to previous administrations that say the ditch was not moved. It's working to double-check the property lines to make sure the ditch is where it should be and not on Drury's property. If it's responsible, the city says the issue will be corrected.
Regan has reached out to a land surveyor.