Denied developer files federal complaint; investigation forthcoming

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A group of Minden City officials and zoning commission members have been listed as respondents in a complaint filed with the federal Housing & Urban Development agency which, if found justifiable, could land the issue in federal court.

According to the complaint filed by Jeffrey S. Glover of MGM Developers and dated October 11, the City of Minden and others “…engaged in one or more discriminatory housing practices under the Fair Housing Act.”

Allegations cited in the complaint include “discriminatory terms, conditions, privileges or services and facilities, steering and using ordinances to discriminate in zoning and land use.” The complaint alleges violations occurred because of race.

Respondents listed in the complaint are deceased former mayor Terry Gardner, council members Michael Roy, Vincent (sic) Edwards, Pam Bloxom, Wayne Edwards, Tina (sic) Williams-Walker, The City of Minden, Zoning Administrator Brent Cooley and Zoning Chairman Sarah Haynes.

Glover’s proposed project on Germantown Road property failed multiple times at Minden Planning Commission hearings and Minden City Council meetings.

Following a final appeal to the council on the MPC’s zoning ruling, Glover said, “The Department of Housing and Urban development will be investigating. It’s just a matter of time. The Feds will come to town.”

MGM’s development would have been called Retirement Villas of Minden, a 50-unit R-5 multi-family residential construction and gated retirement community.

Other parties listed as aggrieved in the complaint include Carl Gresham, Coalition for Safe and Affordable Housing; Catherine Hunt and Ronald Veitch, owner of the Germantown Road property.

For more on the complaint and reaction from those named, see future editions of your Webster Parish Journal.