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Charles Village to revote on benefit-district renewal


The Charles Village Community Benefits District, which faces a lawsuit alleging that it voted to renew itself without a quorum, will hold a meeting tomorrow to recast the vote, the board's president said yesterday.

Created in the 1990s, the benefits district levies an extra property tax in exchange for additional sanitation and security services.

The tax rate must be approved annually by the organization's board, the city's Board of Estimates and the City Council.

More than a dozen Charles Village residents filed a lawsuit this month alleging that the district's board of directors illegally approved the tax rate this year because at least two of its members - who were needed to constitute a quorum - do not meet the requirements to serve on the body.

Jennifer Martin, the board's president, said the organization will recast its vote on the tax rate at a public hearing to be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Family Tree, 2108 N. Charles St.

"We don't agree with the plaintiff's claims that we didn't have a quorum," she said. "It seems like one of the easiest ways to deal with this would be to vote to ratify past decisions and to have enough board members there so that there would be no questions about a quorum."

Martin declined to say whether the organization's attorney recommended holding the meeting in response to the lawsuit.

It also was unclear how the new vote would affect action taken by the Board of Estimates and the City Council to renew the district.

For every $100,000 in assessed value, a resident or business owner in the district pays $120 into a fund for extra services.

Community activist Joan Floyd, the lead plaintiff on the suit, said she has not been able to verify the qualifications of the board members - including how many of them live in the district. She could not say whether the action would affect the pending lawsuit.

"It remains to be seen who will be there and what they will do," Floyd said.

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