A judge’s ruling that Flower Mound’s housing practices do not violate the federal Fair Housing Act will not be appealed, town officials said Friday.
The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) of Dallas, a non-profit organization that implements affordable housing initiatives and assists developers in obtaining tax credits for low income housing projects, did not file an appeal of a recent Federal Court decision in favor of Flower Mound by the April 28 deadline.
In the March 29 decision, United States District Judge Michael Schneider found the Town did not violate the Fair Housing Act and that its land use and zoning practices, Master Plan, and SMARTGrowth Program are not racially discriminatory. Since no appeal was filed, the lawsuit is now concluded.
“The Town has never had discriminatory policies or practices and after more than two years of litigation, the federal trial court agreed with us. The decision by ICP not to appeal the court’s decision confirms that ICP likewise understood that the Town was on legally solid ground and its chances of success on appeal were nil,” said Mayor Melissa Northern. “I am happy this lawsuit has finally concluded in favor of the Town.”
Even though ICP previously had indicated that it would pursue this matter all the way to the United States Supreme Court, lead trial attorney Ed Voss of Brown & Hofmeister stated that the trial court’s solid and detailed opinion left ICP almost no basis upon which to appeal. The federal trial court also awarded the Town approximately $7,400 in court costs from ICP.
“We wish we could have been awarded our full legal fees and expert witness fees in this case, under existing federal law, that unfortunately was not and is not possible,” said Mayor Pro Tem Al Filidoro. “The award of some of the Town’s costs does send ICP a message that when you file unmerited claims, you one day will be held accountable.”