Youngsville is asking a judge to toss out a lawsuit filed over its annexation last year of 57 acres of frontage along the new stretch of Ambassador Caffery Parkway in southern Lafayette Parish.
At stake in the lawsuit, brought the neighboring city of Broussard, is land that could be a lucrative source of sales tax revenue if the new road develops into a commercial corridor.
Broussard wanted some of the frontage that Youngsville annexed and filed the lawsuit with a landowner in the annexed area that had wanted to join Broussard instead.
Broussard also has a separate lawsuit pending against Lafayette city-parish government over the larger municipality’s annexation of more land along Ambassador Caffery.
A court hearing is set for July 25 in the case against Youngsville, which is attempting to shoot down the annexation lawsuit before trial.
Attorneys for Youngsville argue in court filings that the city followed all legal guidelines for the annexation, including securing the signatures of the majority of registered voters and the majority of property owners who live in the area.
Youngsville officials also stated in court filings that the city is prepared to begin providing services to the annexed property — a factor that is sometimes considered in determining whether an annexation is justified.
Youngsville “stands ready, willing and is financially capable of providing the annexed area with police protection, fire protection, water and sewage,” according to a court motion to toss the annexation lawsuit.
Broussard’s lawsuit alleges Youngsville officials did not meet all the technical requirements under the state’s annexation law, which sets guidelines for posting public notices about an annexation and securing signatures from voters and landowners.
Allan Durand, who represents Broussard in the dispute, said Monday that even if Youngsville met all the technical requirements for the annexation, it should be voided because one of the landowners in the annexed area had already asked to be annexed by Broussard.
He said Youngsville’s inclusion of a landowner who would rather be annexed by another city fails the “reasonableness” test under the state’s annexation laws.
“It is not reasonable for an annexation to include people in it who have actively petitioned a neighboring city to be annexed,” Durand said.
Broussard, Youngsville and Lafayette have all expanded their city limits to take in portions of land along the southern stretch of Ambassador Caffery.
The new 6-mile, four-lane portion opened last year.
The southern 3 miles of Ambassador Caffery were already in Broussard when the road opened, and Youngsville and Lafayette have since annexed large chunks of land along the other half.