Opponents of public housing complex claim they were deceived - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Opponents of public housing complex claim they were deceived

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Some people in Port Arthur believe the city council jumped the gun by approving a zoning change that will allow construction of a public housing complex.

They're angry a public hearing is only now being held after the project's been approved.

The proposed Edison Square would be constructed on the 15 acres where the old Edison School once sat.

That's at 3501 12th St.

The project is estimated to cost up to $12 million and it's billed as a public housing complex for the elderly.

City Councilman Willie Bae Lewis believes deception has been used to convince some of the people living in the area to support the project.

Lewis said , "Some of the people signed the petition saying I changed my mind as long as it is going to be for people 62-years-old and above."

Councilman Lewis says a federal agency like the Housing Authority cannot discriminate on age, so he says there's no way it could be limited to just the elderly, but Port Arthur Housing Authority director Cele Quesada made it clear to us, only the elderly would live there.

The city council rezoned the lot to allow the construction of Edison Square, but Lewis says state law required a public hearing before the housing authority could go to city council and request a rezoning.

He expects a lawsuit to be filed to stop construction.

The public hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, August 29 at 4 p.m.

Quesada is still expecting to break ground on the development in November.

He says it will have state-of-the-art units, with community gardens, a swimming pool and shuffleboard.

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