Mandeville Citizens File Suit Claiming Port Marigny Ordinance is Illegal – Mandeville, LA
A group of Mandeville citizens, led by Dr. Jules and Deborah Sachs have filed suit today against the city through their attorney, Alex Peragine. The citizens allege that the city council failed to follow the law on November 29, 2018 when they voted to pass Ordinance 18-36. According to the petition, “the City Council failed to adhere to the requirements of the CLURO requiring publication, review by Planning or Zoning, a report from Planning or Zoning, and a public hearing.”
The City Council changed the zoning of the Pre-Stressed Concrete site and granted a Conditional Use Permit to the owners, Pittman Assets, LLC, with the passage of Ordinance 18-36. The petition further asserts, “The unilateral legislative grant of a Conditional Use Permit is an unlawful exercise of legislative power that is not permitted under the CLURO.” “This suit is not about being for or against the Port Marigny Development,” said Karen Champagne, spokesperson for the citizen group. “It’s about holding elected officials accountable. The law must apply equally to all citizens. If one citizen has to file an application and pay a fee, then all citizens should have to file the application and pay the fee.”
Several citizens addressed the council during the November 29, 2018 meeting asking them to defer their vote on the ordinance so that citizens could have time to review what was being approved. The council ignored their pleas. “The law provides that ‘interested citizens and parties shall have had an opportunity to be fully heard’ before any zoning amendment is passed.” Mrs. Champagne commented. “That did not happen here.”
The settlement of the federal lawsuit is based on Ordinance 18-36. It remains to be seen how this will affect the settlement. “If the judge rules in our favor, then all of the negotiating that took place behind closed doors regarding the Port Marigny settlement will have to be had in public. That’s the way it should have been to begin with,” said Mrs. Champagne.
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