Business Report

Much like East Baton Rouge Parish, Livingston Parish is aiming to relax restrictions that would prevent homeowners impacted by flooding from keeping temporary housing structures such as mobile homes and travel trailers outside of their homes for certain lengths of time.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks says the parish is looking at relaxing the restrictions for increments of six months.

Doing so would allow residents to stay at their homes as they rebuild from catastrophic floods that overwhelmed many parts of the parish, he says.

Earlier this week, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council suspended parts of the Unified Development Code to allow residents to place temporary housing in front of their homes for at least 180 days. The council also waived permit fees for flood-damaged property and temporarily halted part of the city-parish’s noise ordinance to allow construction work to take place in or near residential areas from 5 a.m. until sunset.

Ricks says Livingston also is not charging fees for permits to help residents.

“We’ve also hired people to put them out in the subdivisions and the streets so that people can try to get some help without actually having to come in,” he says.

Livingston was hard hit by Louisiana’s record flooding earlier this month. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s preliminary estimates indicate that 125,113 residents and 3,305 businesses in the parish are located in areas that received flooding.

Livingston residents rebuilding from the flood will need permits for electrical, air conditioning and plumbing work, Ricks says, adding that residents do not need a permit for the demolition or installation of sheetrock.

According to the Livingston Parish Building and Permit Department, residents will have to go the office and pull permits regardless of how much water entered their home.

And even though they don’t need a permit to put up sheetrock, they will need to have two inspections: one when the walls are still open, before everything goes in, and one after the walls are closed.

They’ll need to bring a list of damages to their house and the name of their electric company.