The first court date in the lawsuit between City Council and a group of citizens fighting for the right to protest property rezonings that result from the city’s ongoing land development code rewrite is less than a month away, and City Council has hired an outside attorney to defend them in court. Some City Council members, however, objected to the city spending up to $121,000 to hire Austin-based firm Scott Douglas & McConnico to argue that property owners have no formal protest rights during comprehensive revisions of the land development code. City Council Members Leslie Pool, Kathie Tovo and Alison Alter voted against the city using taxpayer money to fight against what Pool said are taxpayer interests—the right to formally protest their property’s rezoning. Council Member Ann Kitchen abstained from the vote. Together, the council members were the four nays in the 7-4 vote to approve the first reading of land development code rewrite in December. “My reason for voting against this is I don’t believe we should waste taxpayer dollars on outside attorneys to deny people the right to a valid protest,” Pool said to a handful of claps from the City Council Chambers audience Jan. 23. Click to read more at www.communityimpact.com.