Property owners file suit to ‘void’ business improvement district

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – It has been just over a week since Chattanooga City Council Members approved the creation of a controversial business improvement district.

Now, a group of property owners have filed a suit against the city with the hopes to get rid of it.

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“I’d like to accomplish that they set it aside that it’s declared null and void. That they would have to wait a year, come back and if they come back, do it the proper way,” Charles Paty said.

In June, a petition by the River City Company to get the district failed to get council members’ okay.

The district was then reintroduced by a resolution and ultimately passed city council last Tuesday.

“My opinion is the procedure that they followed is wrong,” Paty said.

Paty is one of the six plaintiffs.

He explained one problem is that the district was reintroduced to council too soon.

“State law on that says you can’t do that. You have to wait a year before you can bring it back and it has the same boundaries and this is the same boundaries,” Paty said.

The district covers a section of downtown.

It is run by a board and provides enhanced services to the district using additional fees.

While the lawsuit seeks to nullify it, Paty doesn’t want it, period.

“I do not feel that private individuals should take other individual’s money that they earn and decide how they’re going to spend it. That’s what we elect people to do,” Paty said. “And if we don’t like what they do. We can vote them out of office. We cannot vote this board out of office.”

A city spokesperson said this is active litigation the city cannot comment at this time.

News 12 also reached out to the River City Company.

They also declined to comment at this time.

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