By Bonnie Culverhouse
Members of the Minden City Council at their April meeting effectively turned the tables on the Minden Planning Commission by sending back to them the issue of building a retirement village on Germantown Road in Minden.
Jeff Glover, partner with MGM, asked the council to vote on an appeal which would allow a zoning variance to build Retirement Villas of Minden, a 50-unit R-5 multi-family residential construction and gated retirement community, located at 711 Germantown Rd.
The property, currently R-1 (Single Family Residential), is owned by Anti-Pest & Veitch and located between Savannah Court and The Colony, which is not multi-family nor is it confined to senior citizens.
“We are operating under a timeline,” Glover said. “On March 2, MGM sent the city a letter outlining various alleged Fair Housing Act violations that we believe took place in the zoning commission process. It’s fairly serious and falls under federal law.”
With all members present, the council voted unanimously to send MGM Development’s request back to the commission, asking for clarifications for reasons the request was denied.
“Our client (Veitch) has indicated that if the development fails to be approved, and the only remaining item is zoning, they intend to go ahead and file a lawsuit in federal court alleging Fair Housing Act violations,” Glover said. “And on the (March) 2nd, we supplied a nine-page thesis outlining all the violations that took place.”
At 10 a.m. Thursday, May 5, the commission will meet in the Pelican Room at Minden City Hall to address the council’s concerns.