Last Modified: Sunday, May 20, 2012 7:01 PM
The Lake Charles City Council on Wednesday officially put seven acres of land along the lakefront on the market, with the primary goal of finding a developer to build a facility there that will stimulate economic growth in the downtown district.
City Council members voted 7-0 in favor of the move, which was introduced by Councilman Stuart Weatherford.
“The idea is to put that property back into commerce,” Weatherford said.
Pinnacle Entertainment donated the property — along with two other acres on which an abandoned parking garage sits — to the city in 2011.
Several months ago, City Hall attempted to coax developers and investors for development proposals. So far, Mardi Gras Boardwalk has showed the most interest in building.
Even if developers provide building plans, the City Council has the right not to sell.
The minimum sale price for the property is $4 million.
“If somebody wants to offer that or above, come on down,” said City Councilman Dana Jackson.
City attorney Billy Loftin reminded the council that the action stipulates that potential developers provide an idea about what they would do with the parking garage, which engineering consultants have concluded is still usable.
In other business, the City Council approved changes to the noise ordinance as it relates to the downtown and lakefront districts.
Several weeks ago, the city amended the code book to make noise complaints a civil matter.
In the downtown district, amplified music can be played from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Complaints will be forwarded to police, who will gauge the loudness based on a 50-foot distance from the noise origin. Residents or businesses found not in compliance can be fined.
The Council also agreed to pay $125,000 to the family of Seldon Deshotel to settle a lawsuit in connection with his death that followed his apprehension by city police and Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s deputies at the Nelson Pointe apartment complex in 2007.
According to an appeals court ruling, Deshotel, who was 56, was seen fleeing the garage of a nearby home and was chased and caught by the homeowner, who had bystanders contact police. During a struggle to restrain Deshotel, he was shocked by a city police officer twice.
Officers, who saw that Deshotel wasn’t breathing, removed the handcuffs and one officer attempted to clear his airway. Emergency medical technicians took him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was disputed by the parish Coroner’s Office and a pathologist hired by the appellants.
Council members expressed its dismay that the city had to pay a settlement in regards to someone who was committing a crime.