LIVINGSTON — After being sued by a developer, the Livingston Parish Council reversed itself and voted 7-1 Thursday to allow plans for Watson Heights subdivision to move forward.
In its earlier refusal to approve a preliminary plat for the subdivision, the council violated the Federal Fair Housing Act, the developer alleged in a suit filed in federal court.
Immediately after the council denied the Watson Heights plat at a meeting in March, the council unanimously approved a similar subdivision application.
According to the suit, the council’s actions were “racially discriminatory” when it denied the Watson Heights plat.
The suit named the parish and the seven council members who voted to deny the plat.
Several members of the audience indicated their opposition to the council’s decision to revisit the matter Thursday night.
Watson resident Barbara Smith said people in Watson want to know why the council was taking up the matter again.
She also asked the council if the developer would meet with parish officials to discuss residents’ concerns.
“He wants to go through the same process that every other developer goes through,” Councilwoman Joan Landry answered.
Councilman Jim Norred, who represents the Watson area, cast the lone vote against granting the plat Thursday night. Cindy Wale, the council chairwoman, wasn’t present.
In March, Norred was joined by Landry, Chance Parent, Ronnie Sharp, Delos Blackwell, Marshall Harris and Wale in the vote to deny the plat. Council members Ricky Goff and Sonya Collins voted to grant the plat.
Developer Dorian Gray said the 34-lot development would be a single-family residential subdivision.