Low-income housing blackmail backfires

Threatening to file a lawsuit is never the best tactic to get what you want.

Even before the Carson City Planning Commission unanimously voted not to recommend a proposed 78-home development in Combs Canyon, the developers were already hanging the threat of legal action over their heads.

Attorneys for developer Lumos and Associates submitted letters to the commission that basically stated because the project includes "low-income" housing, they could sue under the federal Fair Housing Act to override the city.

This is blackmail, pure and simple. The developer's plan seems to be that they can threaten their way to approval, no matter how inappropriate the project may be, or how many rules they have to break to do it.

While there is a need in this community for affordable housing, its inclusion in this project seems only to exist in order to force the city to approve it.

Even if it is approved, the low-income housing provision can be abandoned if the developer can't acquire favorable financing for those units.

Trying to ram through approval of a high-density development is not what the Fair Housing Act was meant to be used for.

Kudos to the commission for not bending to the threats. Let's hope the Board of Supervisors shows similar courage when the project comes before them for a final decision.


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