Building in a Flood Plain
Too often purchasers of property do not do their due diligence to check for potential problems with the land or the building. This seems to happen quite frequently when property is located in a flood plain. I’ve had cases where people build bridges over creeks without a building or storm water management permit, use a bulldozer to move dirt around without a grading permit or buy property at a tax sale that later turns out to be a retention pond. Of course, they want a permit to build on their new property. In a case from Louisiana (Lafleur v. Blue, 6 So.3d 348(2009)), a purchaser learned the hard way that he should have investigated the property more thoroughly. After owning property for a number of years, he decided to sell it. However, a potential buyer discovered that it was in a floodway. Up until that point, the owner, failed to do his research. He then sued the local government agency for not indicating on the plat that part of the lot was in a floodway. The plat did show the lot was in a flood zone. The court said the owner should have researched the property “a little more” and decided against him.