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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Developer sues Oakland Twp., says zoning practices discriminate against elderly

Elderly woman
Borya
/
Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A Michigan developer is suing Oakland Township for what the company alleges are discriminatory zoning practices.

Moceri/DM Investments says the township blocked the company's plans to build a multi-unit housing development on 42 acres of land it owns on the township's southwest side. 

The company says the development was designed to accommodate elderly and disabled people at "an affordable cost."

Dominic J. Moceri, a company partner, said the plans were voted down in a 2013 referendum, though officials had already granted site approval.

He said the move violates the civil rights of the elderly and disabled by trying to keep them out of the township.

"We have the freedom to move where we want in this country," Moceri said. "To be denied access to a community because you have special needs is a violation of law." 

Moceri said Oakland Township lacks adequate accommodations for both groups.

"[Our company has] built a lot of multimillion dollar homes in Oakland Township, but those are wants, those are desires," he said. "Now we're talking about the needs of our residents, current and future."

Joan Busing, a former township supervisor, is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Oakland Township Manager Warren Brown said he has no comment on the matter "because of pending and ongoing litigation."

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