Judge sets hearing for lawsuit looking to block Central development

Judge sets hearing for lawsuit looking to block Central development

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A hearing date was set in the lawsuit involving a planned luxury development in Central. Judge Wilson Fields announced his decision Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed against the Central City Council and Mayor Jr. Shelton. The project, called the Settlement on Shoe Creek, was recently approved by the council and plans to add 700 housing units, including 250 apartments, to the city. The development will also have retail space. However, some Central residents the project violence city laws.

After the council gave the green light for Shoe Creek to start building on a stretch of land across from Walmart on Sullivan Road, Freneaux, along with Michael Minnino and Michael Stephens, filed a petition with the 19th Judiciary District Court to temporarily block the project. The lawsuit claims the number of apartments is six times more that what's actually allowed for a traditional neighborhood development or TND.

Freneaux said the city's own net density calculator calls for no more than 41 apartments. However, Shelton said no ordinances are violated.

The lawsuit also alleges that Shelton acted beyond his powers as mayor and made a deal with a neighboring development to turn a private road into a public road in order to give Shoe Creek a needed second access point. The documents claim that agreement could tie up taxpayer dollars and Shelton can't do that without council approval first.

Shelton again denied anything illegal. His lawyer Jennifer Sims also pointed out that Freneaux ran against Shelton for mayor in 2014.

Both parties are due back in court on August 19 for an evidentiary hearing on the preliminary injunction.

(This story has been updated from its original version which included inaccurate information about the injunction due to conflicting early reports.)

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.