Ridgeland agrees to change zoning policies for feds - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ridgeland agrees to change zoning policies for feds

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The city of Ridgeland has agreed to change their zoning policies, which the Department of Federal Housing and Urban Development said discriminated against minorities and low income families.

In 2015, HUD filed a fair housing complaint against the city after receiving reports that at number of apartment complexes faced demolition after the city adopted new zoning requirements, lowering the allowable density.

The city claims they were attempting to rid the city of apartment complexes that were built too densely, and didn't fit into their master plan to make this a mixed use area.

The city has now agreed to amend their 2014 ordinance so that multifamily properties are treated as they were before the new density rules were put in place. The city has also agreed to provide notice to property managers and owners of multifamily properties in advance of any public hearings, contemplating changes to existing zoning, land use and occupancy policies.

The city of Ridgeland released this statement:

"The City of Ridgeland is pleased to announce that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has ended its investigation of the City related to the 2014 Zoning Ordinance and that the matter has been amicably resolved.  In its zoning actions, the City sought to ensure and improve the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, regardless of race, including the citizens of the affected apartment complexes.  The City remains committed to that goal. Many of the requirements in the Conciliation Agreement voluntarily entered into by the City were already the practice of the City.  Only the Madison County Circuit Court has issued rulings with regard to the zoning ordinance, and in all five cases, the Court ruled in favor of the City, finding its actions legal and constitutional. Resolution with HUD allows the City to continue to move forward with its goal of improving the health, safety and welfare of all of its citizens.  Under the agreement, the density requirement will remain in effect and the mixed use zoning that affects six apartment complexes will remain in place but their nonconformities will be grandfathered." 

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