CA 14 38.1     

§38.1.  St.  Charles Parish; reclamation projects by public improvement districts

Section 38.1.  

NOTE:  TEXT OF PARAGRAPH (A) AS AMENDED BY ACTS 1965, NO. 175, ADOPTED NOV. 8, 1966

(a).  Public Improvement Districts now or hereafter created within the Parish of Saint Charles having a frontage of land on Lake Pontchartrain within said district, in addition to the powers now conferred on such districts by law, shall have the power to construct and undertake reclamation projects as herein provided, to locate, relocate, construct, maintain, extend and improve levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water-basins, and other works in relation to such projects, and to conduct all dredging operations necessary in connection therewith and incidental thereto, along, over and on the shores, bottom and bed of Lake Pontchartrain within the Parish of Saint Charles, at a distance extending inland three hundred feet from the present shore line and extending not more than one mile into Lake Pontchartrain; the said levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water-basins and other works to be of such character and extent and of such height, width, slope, design and material as said governing authority of such district may deem necessary and proper.  The police jury for the parish of Saint Charles, state of Louisiana, shall be the governing authority of any such Public Improvement District created under the provisions of this Section.  

NOTE:  TEXT OF PARAGRAPH (A) AS AMENDED BY ACTS 1966, NO. 568, ADOPTED NOV. 8, 1966

(a-1).  Public Improvement Districts may be created within the parish of Saint Charles, said district or districts to be limited to all or part of the area within Saint Charles Parish fronting on Lake Pontchartrain and extending one mile into the lake and extending landward to but not including the present location of the Illinois Central Railroad right of way, which right of way is situated on the north side of the United States Highway #61.  The Police Jury for the parish of Saint Charles, state of Louisiana, shall be the governing authority of any such districts created under the provisions of this Section.  No district shall be created until notice of intention to create such district shall be ordered by resolution of the Police Jury, in which notice there shall be set forth the boundaries of said district and said notice shall further state that the Police Jury will, in open session, on a date and at an hour and place named, proceed to create the proposed district.  This notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks, the first publication being not less than fifteen (15) days before the date fixed for the hearing, in a newspaper published in the Parish.  At the place and time specified in the notice, the Police Jury shall hear all objections which may be interposed to the boundaries of the district and to the inclusion of the property proposed to be included in the district, and after disposing of all objections, the Police Jury shall, if it decides to create the district, adopt a resolution fixing the boundaries of the district and giving it a numerical designation and name.  

(a-2).  To accomplish the purpose hereinafter enumerated in this Section any Public Improvement District created as provided in this Section shall have the power to incur obligations and to levy taxes upon only the land included within such district under and in accordance with the authority of Chapter 4, Title 39 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 as amended.  Any other provision to the contrary notwithstanding, such power to tax shall not extend to oil, gas or other minerals or mineral rights or to any equipment used for the exploration, production, storage, refining or transportation thereof, and all rights to property acquired hereunder to which the mineral rights are reserved to the state in paragraph d hereof shall be subordinate to the right of the state to lease, explore and develop such property for oil, gas and other minerals.  Such districts shall also have the right to contract for legal, financial, engineering and other services which may be necessary or required to carry out the provisions of this Section.  

(a-3).  Public Improvement Districts hereafter created within the parish of St. Charles having a frontage of land on Lake Pontchartrain within said district, in addition to the powers now conferred on such districts by law, shall have the power to construct and undertake reclamation projects as herein provided, to locate, relocate, construct, maintain, extend and improve levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water-basins, and other works in relation to such projects, and to conduct all dredging operations necessary in connection therewith and incidental thereto, along, over and on the shores, bottom and bed of Lake Pontchartrain within the parish of St. Charles, at a distance extending inland five hundred feet from the present shore line and extending not more than one mile into Lake Pontchartrain; the said levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water-basins and other works to be of such character and extent and of such height, width, slope, design and material as said governing authority of such district may deem necessary and proper.  

(b).  In planning, designing and executing said projects, the governing authority of said Districts in each case shall have jurisdiction, power and authority, within the territorial limits of its District to dedicate to public use and to lay out, construct, embellish and maintain a system of parks, beaches, tracts of land and streets, with the necessary and related buildings, and the usual adjuncts to the kind of development contemplated hereunder; to construct, equip and maintain playgrounds, places of amusement and entertainment, gymnasiums, swimming pools, bathing beaches, aviation fields and other like places.  

(c).  Such Districts may contract with any agency, public or private, providing public utilities within the Parish of Saint Charles, on such terms as may be agreed upon between said Districts and said respective utilities, for the financing, construction and extension of sewerage, water, drainage, electric, gas and other necessary public utilities in, on and through said development.  

(d).  Said Districts may acquire any land within the districts by donation, purchase or exchange, and may expropriate any private property within three hundred feet of the present shore line of Lake Pontchartrain situated within the respective Districts, which may be necessary in connection with any project.  Said districts may acquire by expropriation only the surface of property, leaving the ownership of any minerals or mineral rights in private landowners, and the prescription of non-use shall not run against said minerals or mineral rights.  In the event of expropriation the compensation to be paid shall be the actual cash value of the property before the contemplated improvement was proposed and begun.  

With reservation of the mineral rights thereon to the State, all property owned by the State of Louisiana, or the title to which stands in the name of the State, and all property which, by its nature, situation and location, is not susceptible or private ownership under the present law and Constitution of the state, extending into Lake Pontchartrain to a distance not to exceed one mile from the present shore line, shall be vested in the Public Improvement District which shall be created for the purposes of such reclamation, and when such district shall have been formed and shall undertake the said work of reclamation, the vesting of the said title therein shall be indicated by a certificate to that effect issued by the Register of the State Land Office.  However, in all cases the mineral rights on any and all property owned by the State of Louisiana are hereby reserved to the State of Louisiana, and provided, that as to the bed of Lake Pontchartrain, only that portion thereof actually reclaimed as the result of reclamation work by any such district shall be included in this grant, and patent may be issued therefor by the Register of the State Land Office upon approval by the Director of Public Works.  

(e).  Nothing herein contained shall be construed to deprive the Pontchartrain Levee District and the Lafourche Basin Levee District of any rights or powers that such districts presently have or exert in connection with the present levee systems within the Parish of Saint Charles.  Public Improvement Districts may enter into contracts with the said Levee Districts in connection with the doing of any act which each such district is empowered to perform.  

(f).  The work of reclamation, construction and improvement herein and heretofore authorized and provided for shall be accomplished by letting out contracts therefor from time to time in accordance with law at the time of the letting of said contracts.  

(g).  To enable the said districts to perform the work herein provided for and to assist in defraying the cost and expenses thereof, the State of Louisiana shall grant to the said districts the title to all lands reclaimed or filled in within any levee embankment, slopes, retaining walls, sea walls, and breakwaters constructed hereunder and in and to all lands lying within the territorial limits of said project, when said land shall have been reclaimed and filled in each project undertaken by said districts and such title shall be evidenced by a certificate issued by the Register of the State Land Office upon the certificate of completion of each such project by the Board of Commissioners of each respective district, and it is hereby made the mandatory duty of said Register to issue such certificate of title upon receipt of the notice of completion of each respective district as herein provided.  However, the mineral rights on any and all of said lands are hereby reserved to the State of Louisiana.  Public Improvement Districts undertaking projects contemplated hereunder, and receiving title to property as herein provided, shall have complete jurisdiction, power and authority to sell and lease, or sell or lease, or otherwise dispose of such portion of the lands reclaimed and other property acquired for the purpose of said improvement except the land herein required to be dedicated by it for public use, together with any building, improvements or other work constructed thereon, under such terms and conditions and by such methods as the Board of Commissioners may deem proper; and to establish and impose such servitudes, restrictions, rules and regulations as to such lands sold and leased, or otherwise disposed of, as said board may determine; provided that said lands may be subdivided in lots or otherwise and may be offered for sale or lease or sold or leased as soon as practicable after the adoption of this amendment without awaiting the completion of said projects as a whole; provided, that there shall be reserved and dedicated forever by said board for public parks, parkways, boulevards, playgrounds, yacht harbors and places of amusement and beach purposes, exclusive of roads and streets, an area or areas, comprising not less than ten (10%) per cent of the total land area of the project; and provided further, that along the entire water frontage of the project there shall be reserved and dedicated forever by said District for public parks, parkways, boulevards, playgrounds, aviation fields and places of amusement and beach purposes, a continuous strip of land averaging at least 300 feet in depth and at no point less than 200 feet in depth; provided that when said Districts shall have been established and located the front line of said development, including the line or location of piers, breakwaters, or other like extensions, and shall have sold or leased, or otherwise disposed of, any land or granted any rights based upon said line, or location, or when any party shall have, for a valuable consideration, acquired rights based on said line or location, then no further reclamation shall be made, or other works constructed, by said Districts beyond said established front line or location in the bed of said water, and the State of Louisiana shall not itself undertake, authorize or permit said Districts or any other governmental agency or person, association, firm or corporation whatsoever, to reclaim the bed of said waters, or any part thereof, or to construct any works thereon; provided, however, that the foregoing restrictions and limitations shall not prevent or preclude the State of Louisiana, or other governmental agency authorized by law, or any person, firm or corporation authorized by law, from building any bridges, or crossings connecting the shores of said waters with any land reclaimed or works constructed in said waters.  For the sale and disposal of said property, such Districts shall employ such persons, agents or agencies, as said Districts sound discretion may dictate; and shall pay said agents such compensation as shall have been previously agreed upon; provided, however, that in no case shall such compensation exceed the maximum tariff, or rate in force and established at the time by the New Orleans Real Estate Exchange or its successor and allowed for sales of privately owned property within the Parish of Saint Charles.  

(h).  In order to carry out the objects and purposes of this Section and to enable said Districts to finance and carry on the work of development, improvement, maintenance and operation herein authorized, or otherwise authorized by law, said Districts are authorized and empowered, and shall have the authority and power, to issue, sell and deliver, from time to time, bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, not exceeding Thirty Million Dollars in aggregate principal amounts at one time outstanding, to be signed in its behalf by its duly authorized officers, to be payable in lawful money of the United States of America, to bear such rate of interest not to exceed six (6%) per cent per annum, to be payable at such times and at such place or places and to be issued under all such terms and conditions, not inconsistent herewith, as said Districts may determine; and to secure such bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness at any time issued, or to be issued and outstanding, but not to exceed the sum of Thirty Million Dollars principal amount outstanding, the said Districts are authorized to mortgage and pledge:

(1)  Any and all lands reclaimed or to be reclaimed, or otherwise acquired by said Districts as part of said development, except such part of said land as is required by the provisions hereof to be reserved and dedicated for public parks, parkways, boulevards, playgrounds or places of amusement, or beach purposes, together with all buildings or improvements made or constructed, or to be made or constructed thereon, and all rights, ways, privileges, servitudes or appurtenances, thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining, and

(2)  Cash, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness received, or to be received, by said Districts in consideration for the sale or sales of any lands, lots, and improvements forming part of said development; and

(3)  Any lease or leases and the rents, incomes and other advantages arising out of any lease or leases, made or granted by said Districts in connection with said development; and

(4)  Generally any and all rights of said Districts and to any lands, property, incomes, revenues, claims and other choses in action, forming part of and arising out of said development.  

Said Districts shall have the power and authority to sign, execute and deliver any act or acts of mortgage and pledge containing all such terms, conditions and stipulations, not inconsistent herewith, as they may deem proper to secure any bonds, notes or other certificates of indebtedness issued, or to be issued by it in pursuance hereof.  The said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness shall be exempt from all taxation for state, parish and municipal purposes, and savings banks and insurance companies shall be authorized to invest funds in their hands therein and said bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness may be used for deposit with any officer, board, municipality or other political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, in any case in which any present or future laws deposit of security may be required.  Said bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments and incontestable in the hands of bona fide holders for value; provided, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed as pledging the credit of the State of Louisiana for the payment of said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, nor shall said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness be construed as obligations of the State of Louisiana.  

(i)  The power and authority hereby conferred shall be in addition to any power to issue bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness and to borrow money, now or hereafter conferred by law upon said Districts.  Anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding, the aggregate principal amount of all bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness issued hereunder at any time outstanding, together with the total maximum liability, whether or not due, then unpaid, on all contracts for any work and material in connection with the project herein authorized, shall never exceed the sum of Thirty Million Dollars, and any contract made, or any bond, note or certificate of indebtedness issued in violation of this provision shall be null and void.  

For a period of sixty (60) days from the date of publication of the proceedings of the Board of Commissioners of any District hereunder, authorizing the issuance of any bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, any person in interest shall have the right to contest the legality of such proceedings, the bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness provided for, for any cause; after which time no one shall have any cause or right of action to contest the regularity, formality or legality of said proceedings or authorization for any cause whatsoever.  If the validity of any proceedings or issue authorized or provided for, held under the provisions of this Section, is not raised within sixty (60) days from the date of publication of the proceedings taken in connection therewith, the legality thereof shall be conclusively presumed, and no court shall have authority to inquire into such proceedings.  

(j).  The provisions hereof are self-executing and the District is authorized and empowered to carry same into effect, and no further legislation shall be required to effect the same.  

(Added by Acts 1960, No. 638, adopted Nov. 8, 1960.  Amended by Acts 1965, No. 175, adopted Nov. 8, 1966; Acts 1966, No. 568, adopted Nov. 8, 1966.)