Lawsuit targeting Port Neches seeks reinstatement of zoning variances for apartment complex project

By John Suayan | Nov 10, 2016

BEAUMONT – A Port Neches housing company claims the city impeded its attempt to build an apartment complex.

Akhtar Housing Group, LLC and its proprietors, Jeff and Gurinda Akhtar, filed a lawsuit on Nov. 4 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas, stating that the Port Neches Zoning Board of Adjustments awarded them three variances for property located at 3031 8th Street last year only for said variances to be taken away.

The suit lists Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson and the Port Neches City Council as co-defendants.

Per recent court papers, the plaintiffs sought to build a residential-multi-family apartment complex consisting of four buildings and 140 units. They assembled the appropriate requests and applications for the subject variances, the original petition says.

The ZBA approved the variances on Nov. 9, 2015 and sent the complainants a confirmation letter three days later. A Port Neches resident purportedly told Jeff Akhtar that “his kind would not be allowed to build” in the city.

Johnson, in turn, withdrew the variances and sued the ZBA, the suit says. The plaintiffs assert that they were turned back when they tried to intervene.

They consequently seek unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney Colleen M. McClure of Houston is representing the complainants.

Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 1:16-CV-0456

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