Facing pushback, council drops proposal that would have put taxpayers on the hook for Aztek Cove development
BATON ROUGE - Facing stiff pushback from members of the public, the company behind a controversial mixed-use development asked the Metro Council to drop a proposal that would have kicked $35 million in tax revenue back to the developer.
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council removed the item — which would have established the Aztek Cove Development District — from Wednesday's agenda after the request from the project's developer.
Since the council did not take a vote on the item, it's unclear whether the proposal might come up again at a future meeting. The developer told councilmembers they intend to move forward with the project, which has already been cleared for construction, regardless of whether the tax item passed.
Residents like Randy Rice, who lives near where the development will be built, say they are unsatisfied with the result tonight.
"We'll have to do this all over again. Obviously, we would have liked for a vote to happen today," Rice said. "Why should the City bail out an individual developer for his individual development? It's really absurd."
Even after it was announced the item was being dropped, a parade of neighbors took the podium at Wednesday's meeting to voice their disdain for what some described as a "sweetheart deal" for the developer. Those against it said it would set a dangerous precedent for future developers coming to the parish.
This is a developing story.
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