On a plot of land in St. Bernard, flags still mark the area where construction workers can’t build.
That’s because the Corps of Engineers found that site was home to about one third of an acre of vital wetlands after construction had already begun on controversial mixed-income housing there.
Corps and parish officials issued cease and desist orders for that portion of the development last week.
One week later, St. Bernard Parish president Craig Taffaro signed cease and desist orders to stop construction on all four sites, even though the developer, Provident Realty, and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center filed a restraining order late Wednesday night in federal court, barring the parish from taking any action to stop the development..
“The realty is this,” said Taffaro. “Ceasing and desisting these four projects may temporarily delay it. Maybe there’s a way to hold them up long enough that our local voice can be heard.”
But the restraining order isn’t the only legal issue the parish has to deal with. Thursday afternoon, a group of citizens filed a state lawsuit against the parish for issuing building permits for the four mixed income housing sites in the first place.
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