3132apedia by Elliott Stonecipher

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What Last Evening's Federal Court Ruling Really Means

November 17, 2012

Before I launch into the details of last (Friday) evening's ruling from federal court in Shreveport, I want to thank all of you who have e-mailed me already today. To say that all of us working on this issue appreciate your warm support is to grossly understate the case.

While we had hoped for at least a hearing in our federal court suit, such will not occur with the suit we had filed. (For those who were going to attend the scheduled hearing on Monday morning, it will not be held at this point.) As I detailed in the report to you when the restraining order was issued, the legal argument we presented to Judge Walter was a hard climb for us, especially given our related suit in state district court, and important abrogation of duty by various local officials.

I cannot yet report a decision made by the Coalition in response to this - Judge Walter's second - federal court decision. More work is required before that, but we particularly note that the Coalition may return to federal court - the Judge's order was very specifically issued "without prejudice," leaving that door wide open - or pursue the state district court suit or both. The Judge's order means, though, that if we return to federal court, we cannot bring the same "causes of action" from our state court suit to the federal court. Enjoining the federal highway administration (FHWA) in a way which reflects those changes becomes the focus. FHWA is funding the so-called "feasibility studies" now underway, studies which violate federal law in deliberately shutting out public involvement and withholding from public consideration route options damaging to Larkin's development.

To understand the Coalition's effort at this moment, one must recognize that we are in court because the local officials who should, under law, stop the roadway Tim Larkin is building for personal profit have chosen not to take that action. Rather, their silence and inaction passively validate the cooked-up permits from Glover, the city engineer and city attorney. Put simply, we are asking courts to do for the Shreveport public what key local government officials will not do. Once again, local government, broadly, fails to do that which the City Charter and their oaths demand. The list of such inarguable failures on a multitude of issues grows longer by the week.

The argument Larkin & Friends are currently using - "he's building a private road on private land" - is obviously bogus, by his own choice and hand, as attested to in the attached "permit" for his roadway. The reader will see in that document that Larkin says he is building is a "public servitude of passage", and the upper right-hand corner language shows that on April 12, 2012, Larkin himself - that's his signature - "... hereby dedicates a public servitude of passage."

Given that Larkin handed this over to we lowly taxpayers as a publicly dedicated servitude, he has no right of any kind to then pave it for his personal use and profit. Even for Larkin, and even in our mayor's Shreveport, how can one have a "private driveway" in a public servitude? Why Larkin chose this convoluted way of justifying his "permit" is the question everyone not in on his deal (they already know) must consider.

Here is the "cliff notes" version of all of this. Since Glover, NLCOG, the city engineer and Larkin's attorney Sam Gregorio acted to terminate the 3132 Extension on April 7, 2011, this entire charade has been about getting Larkin's roadway built, NOT about the Extension. Larkin's November 2007 contract with the Railsback Road Homeowners Association prohibits him from building homes until he has a connection up and into Flournoy-Lucas, i.e., the roadway he is building. If his roadway is built, the sham "feasibility studies" will end up forcing an Extension route which damages either current Twelve Oaks residents or WKHS' Oaks of Louisiana - while protecting Larkin's Esplanade.

Elliott Stonecipher
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.

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