Phoenix sues state over Roosevelt Row district

rooselveltThe City of Phoenix sued the state last week over a law passed earlier this year that changes the way municipal improvement districts can be formed, reported Arizona Capitol Times on Tuesday.

The new law requires proposed municipal improvement districts to get approval for the district from more than half of property owners who collectively own more than half of the property in a given area.

The law included a retroactivity clause to Jan. 1, 2016, which allegedly affected a newly formed district for Roosevelt Row. Advocates for the downtown arts neighborhood spent years putting together a plan for a municipal improvement district, which would have assessed landowners in the area to pay for things like added security, landscape maintenance, special events and beautification projects.

In a complaint filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, the City of Phoenix alleges the law, sponsored by Gilbert Republican Rep. Warren Petersen, doesn’t actually apply to the Roosevelt Row district.

In the lawsuit, the city says it adopted a resolution of intent to establish a municipal improvement district, which including a map of the proposed area, on Nov. 18, 2015, and that map wasn’t changed. On Jan. 20, 2016, the city council adopted the resolution establishing the district.

The city wants clarification from the court before moving forward on establishing the district.

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