In denying attorney Jimmy Davidson’s motion for summary judgment, 15th Judicial District Judge John Trahan Monday ruled that Davidson has not shown the court he has sufficient cancellations — he needs more than half of the land area affected — to nullify a 1940 covenant that restricts much of the property along Girard Park drive to single-family dwellings and apartments. Davidson, who owns four acres at Girard Park and Hospital drives and has been fighting his neighbors for well over a decade, is hoping to remove the building restriction so that he can sell and/or develop his land at a much higher commercial value.

As the IND reported last week, Davidson went into court today claiming to have 77 percent of the covenant cancellations he needs to change the character and integrity of the historic community, but neighbors who are fighting him say 72 percent of the property he needs is actually on their side or has stayed out of the controversy. 

Girard_Park_coverIn building his case for today’s hearing, Davidson used at least 10 waivers signed by people who no longer own the property encumbered by the covenant, according to court documents. One court observer tells the IND that Trahan told Davidson he needs waivers from current, not past, property owners.

Attorney Gary McGoffin, who represents the residents against Davidson (and is IND Monthly’s legal counsel), was in meetings all day after the hearing and unavailable for comment. He did email the IND, however, noting that he will file his own motion for summary judgment this week.

For more on this issue, read the IND’s February cover story, “Don’t Back Down,” here.

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