After a lengthy discussion Monday, the West Feliciana Parish Council decided not to clean up two properties that parish administrators deemed to be violating the parish’s nuisance ordinance, including Councilman Melvin Young’s vehicle repair business.

Young debated whether his operation constituted a nuisance because of “abandoned/non-operational vehicles,” saying none of the cars, trucks and a bus at his home, 6900 Greenwood Road, are “junked or abandoned.”

The parish notified Young and Luther Montandon, 14342 La. 10, in September that their properties appeared to be in violation of parish ordinances because of accumulated junk, debris and abandoned and nonoperational vehicles.

Parish ordinances authorize the parish to clean up nuisance properties and file liens against the land to recover the parish’s costs.

“I’d like to know exactly what the nuisances are,” Young said during a public hearing. “Nothing there is junk or abandoned.”

Young said he drives a school bus in the mornings and afternoons and works on vehicles for local residents during his spare time. Because of a difficulty in obtaining parts, vehicles sometimes are parked on the property for long periods of time.

“I’ve lived there for 40 years without a complaint,” he said, adding the operation preceded parish zoning ordinances.

Council President John C. Thompson said pictures of Young’s operation show that “it appears to be unsightly.”

“It could be that no one has brought it to your attention,” Thompson said.

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Councilman Clay Pinson suggested that Young erect a fence to block the view of the vehicles from the road.

Former Planning and Zoning Commission member Platter Gooden said he raises hogs on Sligo Road and hogs are unsightly.

“Where are you going with this?” Gooden said, pointing out several other locations around the parish with accumulated junk.

Montandon said he did not attend the meeting to debate whether his property is unsightly, but he said health issues and other problems have delayed his effort to clean up the site.

“I have every intention to improve the property,” he said.

After the hearings, the council voted to defer action on the complaints.

On another matter, parish President Kenny Havard said the parish road crew used new equipment to spread asphalt paving on Airport Road, the first attempt to begin paving parish roads. He said the parish probably saved $150,000 by not contracting the work.

During the winter, the road crews will work on repairing three bridges, then return to paving work in the spring.