DEVELOPER OPENLY DEFIES M.P.C., CITY COUNCIL, LEGAL PROCESS
by Elliott Stonecipher
Shreveport City Council members learned two days ago that Mayor Cedric Glover had given Esplanade developer Tim Larkin approval to build his long-planned roadway from his bridge over Bayou-Pierre into Flournoy-Lucas Road.
The decision by Glover and Larkin to proceed with building the roadway comes in spite of repeated and official disapprovals by the Shreveport Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and Shreveport City Council:
(1) on May 2, 2012, the MPC voted 7-0 against the approval;
(2) Larkin appealed that decision to the City Council on May 22, 2012, and the Council remanded the matter back to the MPC;
(4) Larkin returned to the City Council again on appeal, and on October 8, 2012, the Council voted 6-1 against Larkin’s roadway construction, specifically choosing to “dismiss” any further Council consideration of Larkin’s building of the roadway.
Glover, his city engineer and his city attorney knew of the related approval actions on October 10th, but inexplicably withheld Council notification until late on October 29th. The delay provided Larkin with nearly three weeks lead-time in building his roadway before legal action can be taken to block it.
Legally, Larkin’s path for appeal after the multiple disapprovals by the MPC and Council was Caddo District Court, but he opted instead to proceed only with the nod of Glover, his city engineer Ron Norwood and his attorney – aka the “City Attorney” – Terri Scott. This completes the circle for Larkin: in his original plan to build the roadway for his development and personal profit, Glover, in April 2011, illegally extended to him the unrestricted use of a city-owned tract paid for by Shreveport voters in a 1996 bond issue. The City Council soon took official action against Glover’s attempted gift of city property to Larkin.
Shreveport City Councilman Michael Corbin – in whose district Larkin’s ultra-upscale development is located – was the lone vote for Larkin when the City Council acted last month. In a phone conversation with him after the approval documents from Glover were obtained by the Finish 3132 Coalition, Corbin expressed no concern about Larkin’s action to proceed even with the multiple official disapprovals.
PUBLIC DOCUMENT#1 – PUBLIC DOCUMENT#2
(FROM PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST OF CITY!)
A Coalition lawsuit in Caddo District Court against multiple defendants including Glover, Norwood, Larkin and others is stalled as attorneys for defendants push for Judge Leon Emanuel’s approval to move the proceedings away from Shreveport, and to East Baton Rouge Parish state district court.
Documents made available to Council members yesterday show that Larkin contends his decision to ignore all official disapprovals is supported by a position taken by Glover’s attorney (aka the “city attorney”) in the October 8, 2012, Council meeting. Larkin notes in his key October 10, 2012, letter to the city engineer:
“We believe we have the lawful right to construct the required roads, including Forbing Ridge Road which makes the final connection to Flournoy-Lucas. We understood the city attorney, Ms. Terri Scott, to acknowledge and confirm our lawful right to construct Forbing Ridge Road at yesterday’s Council meeting.”
This – Larkin’s “justification” to build the road in contravention of related statutes, ordinances and other legal process – completely ignores the fact that Scott’s comment was heard and promptly ignored by Council members in their immediately following 6-1 vote against Larkin’s and Glover’s and Scott’s position.
As of this writing, Glover’s actions as agent for Larkin and his Esplanade development – rather than the people of Shreveport to whom he swore his oath of service – are boldly on display. To back-up that fact, construction on his roadway began yesterday, and is on display for all to see.
Finish 3132 Coalition, LLC
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest. No compensation of any kind has been solicited or accepted for this work. This work is protected, and no other use of it is permitted without the written consent of Mr. Stonecipher.