Livingston Parish business receives cease and desist letter 2 years after opening
WALKER, La. (WAFB) - There’s a lot of talk over in Livingston Parish about an outdoor paintball facility getting a cease-and-desist letter from parish officials.
It all stems from complaints by neighbors and some apparent parish code violations.
Guerrilla Warfare Paintball is located off Arnold Road in Walker. The business has been up and running since 2019.
The bunkers at the place are usually inflated on the weekends when guests come to play at the facility.
“On a Saturday, we may have 80 to 100 people out here, Sunday’s 30 to 40.
We do tournaments four times a year, people come from all over the state of Louisiana, Mississippi,” said Justin King, owner of Guerrilla Warfare Paintball.
But for the past month, the three different courses at Guerilla have been closed to paintball players.
“When they did the final inspection, they said everything was fine. They said a fence may be needed later if a neighbor complained. But now, they want us to go through the entire process again. Going back before the Zoning Committee, back before the council. But this time, doing drainage impact studies, traffic impact studies, DOTD permits, something around $30,000 to $35,000 worth of things they’re wanting us to do this time around,” said King.
It all started with an apparent disagreement or misinformation between owner Justin King and one of his neighbors, over a piece of land right next to the facility. But that opened a new can of worms.
“You know, you really never put in a parking lot, so when it rains you can’t park in the fields, so they’re parking on other people’s driveways,” said Garry ‘Frog’ Talbert, Livingston Parish Council Chairman.
Two years after the business was originally given the green light to open its doors, the Planning and Development Commission found more apparent violations.
King says back in March, Planning and Zoning came out to do a final inspection of the property.
On May 18, he met with the members to discuss some of the issues they discovered, and complaints they were receiving.
The cease-and-desist letter was then given to King on May 25.
“So, there was some decisions made by the Planning Commission and at the council level, because of misinformation. I think it’s grown into much more, than what we were led to believe when it started out,” said Talbert.
Council Chairman Talbert says they are all about business growing in the parish but Guerilla has to follow all the parish guidelines and fix some of the issues neighbors are complaining about.
“Come back before Planning, fix their deficiencies, get straight with the Health Department, get straight with DOTD, resolve your issues with the Fire Marshal’s Office, and we’ll look to move forward,” said Talbert.
But King says it’s unfair, as parish officials allegedly told him that he could at least stay open, while the repair work was being done, but then they changed their minds.
“This is what we depend on as a family, my wife, two kids. And it’s tough right now, being closed for four weeks,” said King.
The Livingston Parish Council will discuss this issue at their meeting on Thursday, June 24.
King tells WAFB, around one more month of being closed, could force him to shut down his business for good.
WAFB’s Lester Duhe’ reached out to Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks for a comment but did not hear back yet.
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