Town wins housing lawsuit

In the lawsuit filed against Flower Mound by The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) of Dallas, United States District Judge Michael Schneider ruled on March 29 that the town’s housing practices do not violate the federal Fair Housing Act.

ICP is a non-profit organization that implements affordable housing initiatives and assists developers in obtaining tax credits for low income housing projects.

After a trial before the court, Judge Schneider concluded that the Town of Flower Mound did not violate the Fair Housing Act and that its land use and zoning practices, Master Plan, and SMARTGrowth program are not racially discriminatory.

Had ICP been successful in the lawsuit, the town would have been required to pay ICP’s legal and expert fees, and would have been subject to a permanent injunction requiring the Town to “end [its] exclusionary housing policies and practices” as well as a court order that the town identify “specific sites for apartment use . . . for the development of Low Income Housing Tax Credit units…”

“We are delighted with and grateful for the court’s determination that the Town did not violate the Fair Housing Act,” said Melissa Northern, Flower Mound Mayor. “As the court correctly held, the Town does not and did not discriminate, and the Town’s land use practices are not racially motivated.”

ICP will have 30 days in which to decide whether to appeal the court’s judgment.  According to the Town Attorney’s office, ICP previously has indicated that it will pursue this matter all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

“I am confident that the Town Council will continue to uphold the Master Plan and SMARTGrowth in a fair and objective manner,” said Al Filidoro, Flower Mound Mayor Pro Tem. “We want everyone to know that Flower Mound does not discriminate in its housing decisions, and the court’s ruling underscores that point.”

Flower Mound’s victory in the ICP lawsuit was delivered within days of another successful conclusion for the Town in an unrelated legal issue.

TNT Pipeline Corporation dropped a lawsuit on March 22 that had been filed against the Town regarding a water line construction project where the contractor hit an Atmos gas line.  Contending that the Town owed approximately $200,000 more than the contract provided for, TNT was attempting to recover its costs associated with that conflict between lines.

“The successful conclusion of these two lawsuits has proven our contention that they both lacked merit,” said Mayor Pro Tem Filidoro. “These achievements are the latest in a trend of victories for our legal team. Defending ourselves against these actions was the right thing to do for all Flower Mound residents.”

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