Permit mistake leaves some Denham Springs homeowners in trouble

Permit mistake leaves some Denham Springs homeowners in trouble

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - It's a mistake that could be costly for some homeowners in Denham Springs.

Volunteers from the Tennessee State Fire Marshall's office were inspecting homes and issuing Livingston Parish building permits recently that they shouldn't have.

There was confusion about the city boundaries as Denham is the only part of Livingston Parish that has their own permit system.

"I've got at least 30 out there that may very well be repairing their home, and it's not compliant because they just didn't have the authority to come in and do inspections in the city. That's primarily the biggest problem," said Rick Foster, the city's building official.

Some of those homeowners live on Jerlyn Drive. One resident said it doesn't shock him that something like this could happen because people are desperate to start rebuilding.

"They're ready to get back in their house. It has devastated everybody. I mean they lost everything," said Octave Lambert.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said the volunteers meant no harm, they were just trying to help as many people as they could.

"You don't want any mistakes to happen, but will it happen again? I hope not, but it could because these guys are working tirelessly seven days a week. It was simply a mistake, there's not a turf war or anything like that going on, just simply a mistake," Ricks said.

However, Foster said some residents may have to restart their repairs, costing them valuable time and money.

"The construction, whatever construction they have could be in default," Foster said.

Denham Springs officials are still looking for people that were issued permits by mistake. They know at least 30 homeowners were affected.

If someone was issued one of those permits, they are asked to go to the old city hall at 115 Mattie Street, where they can get a proper permit.

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