[StBernard] Lawyer for the development company

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Apr 29 18:20:58 EDT 2009

The article shows, at least to me, that these developers have played us from
the very start with their Fair Housing Card and that no matter what our
local codes are, they seek exemption and special treatment. It may be time
to get a permit to shake the cans at intersections to raise money to fight
Mr Voelker's anticipated appeals. Appeals which may keep him and developers
wealthy while doing little to address the needs of the target population of
the housing projects. ---- SJK.

Page 9 of 10

Many of the articles on dealing with NIMBY recommend
educating the homeowners and politicians on the societal benefits of
affordable housing, and countering
their objections, point-by- point: multifamily generates less children than
single family, so impact on
schools is minimized; apartments have fewer cars per residence than single
family, so that traffic is not
increased; the City needs a place for its school teachers, firefighters,
policemen; etc. Certainly, all of
these statements are true and helpful up front. However, no amount of logic
will persuade homeowners
who are emotional and oftentimes irrational, and the developer will find an
ever-expanding list of
rationales for keeping affordable housing out of their neighborhood. Faced
with a rising tide of voter
opposition, politicians will typically seek to pacify the homeowners/fellow
citizens of the City. When the
Page 10 of 10
momentum starts to run against the development, and one or more of the
politicians starts to take up the
homeowners' cause, the likelihood of turning the situation around with
education on the benefits of
affordable housing is slim at best, and once the first official action is
taken, the developer needs to boldly
discuss Fair Housing rights and obligations with the City attorney and the
City's insurance company.

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