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Deer Run lawsuit settled; controversial Denham Springs housing development moving forward

11 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, July 31 2023 Jul 31, 2023 July 31, 2023 10:43 AM July 31, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - The Livingston Parish government has settled a federal lawsuit over an embattled housing development in Denham Springs, allowing the developer to move forward with construction, albeit with some significant changes to the plan.

A statement from Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said the parish government settled the lawsuit from Ascension Properties, which was challenging zoning rules that blocked the developer from pushing forward with its Deer Run project, a 2,000-lot development along 4-H Club Road.

"We closed a case that our lawyer, the District Attorney and the Council's hand-picked zoning expert told us we could not win," Ricks said in a statement Monday. "The Council agreed it was time to put this case behind us, get out from under the attorney fees, legal expenses and possible damages and restart work on zoning. The Council's own zoning expert said the zoning ordinance, as passed, cannot be enforced and would need to be completely rescinded and re-initiated from the beginning."

Temporarily halted by a judge earlier this year amid protests from neighbors, Ascension Properties is now cleared to move forward with the revised development plan. 

Originally planned to host 400 apartments, Ascension agreed to build just 155 owned condos. The development density also been reduced from 689 lots — each measuring 50 feet — down to a total of eight one-acre lots and 119 two-acre lots.

"Overall," Ricks said. "The Parish can claim a big victory in this agreement."

The developer's permit and plat will expire in two years if the project is not completed. 

Read the full statement from the parish here.

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