The Center, an Asbury Park, N.J., HIV/AIDS organization, filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court in Newark this week against the Asbury Park zoning board, claiming the board discriminated against the group by refusing to issue it a license to build new housing facilities for HIV-positive people, The [Newark] Star-Ledger reports. The Center applied for a license to expand its current facilities to include emergency housing units for 24 clients but was denied the license on May 29. Zoning board members said they were concerned that the facility would house active drug-users, despite pledges by Center officials that the facility would be drug-free. Two of the zoning board members also said they believed the facility would have a negative impact on the neighborhood.
The lawsuit is seeking permission to construct the building as planned and damages in the amount of $4.7 million, which is the amount Center officials say the project could lose because of the delay.