Two local developers have sued the town of Davidson over its requirement that new subdivisions include affordable housing.
Developers Artisan Knox LLC and Woodlands at Davidson LLC argue in their lawsuit that the N.C. General Assembly never gave the town that right.
They also contend that Davidson exceeded its authority by making them pay the town money under an old ordinance that charged developers money for public facilities or services based on the number of new homes they were building. The town repealed the ordinance in March 2013.
The developers want a judge to make the town repay them the money they say they are owed, according to their joint lawsuit, filed Oct. 14 in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.
The town announced in a news release this week that it had been sued. The town said it will defend its right to require a percentage of affordable housing in new subdivisions.
“We are very sorry that this situation has arisen, but this lawsuit does not change our will to continue to support and encourage affordable housing,” Town Manager Leamon Brice said in the release. “We will defend our position and are confident that the Town of Davidson will prevail in this lawsuit.”
The town adopted the affordable-housing ordinance in 2001. Since then, 56 affordable homes have been built in the town, according to the release.
Davidson, Chapel Hill and Manteo are the only municipalities in the state with such a requirement in their zoning ordinances, according to Davidson’s news release.
Woodlands at Davidson LLC is developing the 59-home Woodlands community. Artisan Knox developed the 86-home Davidson Wood subdivision, formerly called Hudson Place, according to the lawsuit.
To meet the town’s affordable housing mandate, Woodlands at Davidson paid the town $53,100 in 2007 and posted a letter of credit for $318,600 as payment in lieu of building any affordable housing units, according to the lawsuit.
Under the adequate public facilities ordinance, Woodlands at Davidson paid the town $97,250 toward construction of a community center, the lawsuit states.
From 2005 to 2007, Artisan Knox paid the town $102,700 for law enforcement service units and part of a community center. The developer said the town also is requiring it to pay $584,100 in lieu of building the required affordable housing units.