Vote on settling Mt. Holly housing bias case put off

Posted: November 07, 2013

A vote to approve a settlement in the Mount Holly housing bias case will not be held this evening as planned, according to a cryptic news release issued by the township council less than four hours before the 7 p.m. meeting. But the meeting has not been canceled and will be held at the Holbein School, 333 Levis Drive.

The civil rights case, which is scheduled for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 4, involves a group of 30 low-income residents who contend the town's plans to demolish their homes and redevelop the Mount Holly Gardens neighborhood are discriminatory.

Last week, James Potter, who heads the group, said a tentative settlement was reached and that the case would be withdrawn from the high court's docket. Sources close to the negotiations also said a settlement was near.

The town appealed to the high court last year after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ordered a trial to determine whether the town's redevelopment plans aiming to rid the township of blight had an unintentional affect on minorities.

In the news release, Mount Holly Township Solicitor George Saponaro said: "All parties are working diligently to finalize the procedural aspects involved with resolving a highly complicated matter. We expected to have had these items completed so they could have been presented and voted on during tonight's meeting, but we still have some work to do."

He could not be reached for comment.

A new date for the vote will be set at a later time, according to the news release.

jhefler@phillynews.com

856-779-3224 @JanHefler

www.inquirer.com/burlcobuzz

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