Lawsuit seeks to evict rent rules — New Orleans Times-Picayune
A group of out-of-state investors who bought and renovated 80 flood-damaged homes in St. Bernard Parish has filed a lawsuit to overturn a parish ordinance requiring special permits to rent the homes.
The 25 investors, most of them Florida residents, contend the ordinance is an unconstitutional infringement upon property rights that also violates their right to due process with an application process that is “intimidating, irrational, oppressive and indefensible.”
Rodney Brenneman, an investor who lives in Lakeland, Fla., said the group has poured more than $8 million into Hurricane Katrina-ravaged St. Bernard Parish, drawn by the investment opportunity and a desire to help solve the parish’s housing crunch.
“We might look like a big company, but we’re really a bunch of ordinary folks who saw this as a way to plan for our retirements and do some good at the same time,” he said.
Brenneman said the investors, who do business as Your Home Solution Louisiana, hoped to renovate the homes and sell them for $135,000 to $165,000, but they were unable to do so because of the national mortgage crisis and skyrocketing insurance costs.
They decided to rent the homes until the housing market recovers, but they did not obtain permits required by the parish ordinance for all homes that were not rentals before Katrina.
John DP Coggin, a graduate student studying public polic, has taken time off to write a biography of Lawton Chiles, the Lakeland native who a three-term senator and two-term governor of Florida. Coggin is documenting his work on his blog, Walkin’ Lawton
This blog details Florida’s only highway with as many turkeys as people: the Walkin’ Lawton Chiles trail. From Century to Tallahassee to Jacksonville to Orlando to Fort Lauderdale to Miami to Key Largo, you’ll find milestones of his famous walk across Florida posted in the ground: state-issued, metal signs about as high as a stop sign. In Chiles’ long career, he left tracks all across the state, and the ones without signposts are often the most interesting. Walking the trail, taking photos, studying boxes of archives, talking to friends and colleagues, recording old stories–these will be my passport to history.