WILL SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL BAIL-OUT DEVELOPER TIM LARKIN?
February 5, 2017 … 5.55 P.M.
When the Shreveport City Council meets on February 14th, it may very well approve a taxpayer-funded bail-out for Tim Larkin, the man behind Southeast Shreveport’s ritzy Esplanade subdivision.
Larkin knows a thing or a thousand about political manipulation. He is a bona fide political boss and fixer in Bossier, repeatedly elected an at-large City Council member.
Larkin’s Esplanade occupies a piece of land directly in the path of possible future construction of the LA Hwy. 3132 Extension to the Port of Caddo-Bossier.
First envisioned soon after World War II, taxpayer-funded planning and construction of the highway, ultimately named the “Inner Loop Expressway,” kicked-off nearly five decades ago, in 1969.
The highway’s purpose was well known to all who cared: make sure sometimes-hazardous and always dangerous I-20 big-truck traffic was re-routed away from the heart of Shreveport-Bossier.
In 2011, the near-half-century of community purpose and spending on the 3132 Extension were intentionally stomped out by Larkin and his shadow partner, then-Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover.
Directly put and well-documented over the past six years, the highway’s final leg of the Extension – from Flournoy-Lucas down to the Port of Caddo-Bossier – cannot co-exist with Larkin’s Esplanade.
So, on April 7, 2011, Glover and Larkin commandeered a meeting of NLCOG – the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments – to officially kill the highway … regardless that such was screamingly illegal.
Precisely how such lawbreaking was executed is explained in this article I wrote almost five years ago. For precise details of Glover’s official malfeasance, click on “View Document” in the first sentence:
Shocked locals, myself included, set about to save the highway immediately after late Shreveport Times editorialist Craig Durrett alerted us with his May 1, 2011, column, “Loop’s Labor Lost.”
Now, almost six years later, the project’s “Stage 1 Feasibility Study” is set to be completed in a few months, or so the public is told.
Hurrying to act before that, Larkin wants the City Council to approve twenty Esplanade lots for home construction. Given that virtually each one is within the highway route, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) refused Larkin’s mega-political application.
Larkin is appealing the MPC decision to our Shreveport City Council. Should those seven pols override the MPC, the developer will score a huge financial bail-out … at taxpayer expense.
Proving that conclusion is the legal research of local attorneys Bill and Whitney Pesnell. In the first of two planned letters to City Council members, dated February 1st, Bill Pesnell exposes the Larkin op:
“The fundamental question which then arises is: Why should the City Council approve a subdivision plat that lies squarely in the route of a proposed interstate highway? The answer to that question is an oxymoron. There is no benefit to the public whatsoever. The only potential beneficiary is the developer.
… (T)he City’s approval would, as a practical matter, confer upon Larkin a decided advantage in any expropriation suit filed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation to acquire the right-of-way required for the project.
… It may well be that Mr. Larkin is already in a position where he can properly demand compensation on a PER LOT basis rather than as raw subdivision land. However, the City Council should NOT approve Larkin’s Applications because, in doing so, it will virtually confer that benefit upon Larkin.”
If the Shreveport City Council overrides the MPC decision against Larkin, the costs to taxpayers will be extremely high, and assessed in many ways.
Nearly six years deep in research and activism, purposefully at my own expense, I cannot be more certain that only open and contemptuous public corruption yields a bail-out of these actors.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED