UL Coleman, Bossier City clash over who should oversee redevelop - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

UL Coleman, Bossier City clash over who should oversee redevelopment districts

Walker Place Development (Source: UL Coleman). Walker Place Development (Source: UL Coleman).

Developer UL Coleman and Bossier City are at odds once again, this time disagreeing over who should oversee two redevelopment districts in South Bossier City, according to court documents. 

Federal Judge Maurice Hicks, Jr. issued an order in mid-March to appoint a special master to oversee the redevelopment districts.

Judge Hicks requested both parties submit briefs explaining their specific issues about the selection of a special master. The developer and the city filed court documents April 13 each explaining their positions. 

UL Coleman outlined in an 8-page document why they feel a land planner is the better choice to oversee the districts rather than a federal magistrate judge.

"A review of the issues between the parties to date reveals that nearly all such disputed issues have related directly to the subject of land planning," the document states.

It goes on to say UL Coleman believes a special master with specific experience in land planning and redevelopment districts will the best fit to make sure the project stays on track. It also says a special master with a land planner background would, "hopefully avoid the need for the parties to continue to employee expensive independent planning professionals and attorneys to monitor the redevelopment districts."

On the other hand, the city submitted an 18-page document explaining why they feel a federal magistrate judge would be the best choice to look over the project.

The city's position is the court has already ruled on and resolved all land planning and zoning disagreements surrounding the redevelopment districts, so a land planner would not be necessary. The court document states both sides haven't been able to agree on a special master because they can't agree on the duties of this individual. 

"Such disagreement may be seen as a forecast of other such potential disputes and issues as implementation of the redevelopment districts proceed," the document states.

As a result, the document went on to explain, since they believe the primary duty of a special master would be to resolve disputes surrounding the lawsuit settlement requirements, a federal magistrate or an attorney would be the best qualified. 

This latest disagreement is one of many that both parties have been tangled up in since settling a lawsuit in 2012. 

The settlement stems from a lawsuit the developer filed in 2008 after not being granted direct access to the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway for ULCC's planned mixed-use development.  

The settlement or "Consent Decree and Cooperative Endeavor Agreement" required both parties to work together to build a park, pedestrian footbridge and redevelopment districts, among other things.

Both sides disagreed with one another about how each project should be executed. 

The disagreements brought both sides to court in late 2015, with the developer accusing the city of violating the lawsuit settlement. UL Coleman Companies filed a motion asking the court to enforce the consent decree and accusing the city of failing to fulfill its settlement requirements. 

Judge Maurice Hicks issued an order March 16 denying UL Coleman's motion more than a year after hearing both parties argue their cases in late November 2015.

He lifted the stay order on the redevelopment districts at that time.

The districts are split in two: Barksdale South Neighborhood Redevelopment District and Barksdale Boulevard Redevelopment District.

The neighborhood district is designed to protect and maintain neighborhood appearance, encourage home ownership and guard against deterioration, according to the proposed ordinance. 

The Barksdale Boulevard district is designed to strengthen its economic vitality, preserve its commercial character, enhance visual appeal, improve motorist and pedestrian safety and encourage investment and redevelopment. 

The ordinance also calls for a creation of a Barksdale Redevelopment District Committee.

The total potential cost to the city for the project is $5,118,396, according to a targeted preliminary cost study.

An ordinance allowing the city to move forward on the redevelopment districts will be voted on for a final time April 18. 

Click here to read the ordinance.

Timeline of events

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