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VOL. 132 | NO. 92 | Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Memphis City Council Could Act to Revoke Railgarten's Permit

By Bill Dries

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Memphis City Council members are considering a hearing that could lead to revoking the special-use permit that allowed the Midtown restaurant/bar Railgarten to open just last month.

The council approved a special-use permit for Railgarten on Central Avenue east of Cooper Street, but code enforcement officers closed down two annexes to the business using intermodal containers shortly after it opened in April to large crowds.

Memphis City Council members take up the fate of the Railgarten restaurant/bar in Tuesday committee sessions discussing whether the council should revoke the special use permit that permitted the business to open last month.


The use of the containers triggered parts of the Midtown Overlay – the set of zoning and development restrictions specifically created for that area and parts of Midtown.

That and complaints from some neighbors prompted the council to call for the Board of Adjustment to delay any vote on permits allowing Railgarten to open in full. The board approved the delay, effectively sending the matter back to the council.

At a 1:20 p.m. committee session Tuesday, May 9, council members take up a resolution “authorizing an evidentiary hearing for the purpose of considering the revocation” of Railgarten’s special-use permit. The permit did not cover the intermodal containers or outdoor uses that are part of the business.

The item is not currently on the full council’s agenda for a vote Tuesday, but could easily be added depending on how the committee discussion goes.

The council meets at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols, www.twitter.com/tdnpols, for live coverage and updates from committee sessions earlier in the council day.

The council’s agenda includes a vote on the first of three readings to set a certified property tax rate. The new certified rate based on the 2017 countywide property reappraisal for tax purposes is $3.27, down from the existing rate of $3.40.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is proposing a stable property tax rate with his $680 million operating budget and a $77.6 million capital budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

In other matters, the council budget committee reviews the parks, fire department and libraries division budget proposals at a committee session that begins at 7:30 a.m.

The public safety and homeland security committee reviews a proposal to “create new regulations dealing with immobilization of motor vehicles by booting,” according to the agenda for the 11:40 a.m. committee session. No copy of the proposal is included with the council agenda.

The council also votes on the second of three readings on the Pinch District Concept Plan for redevelopment of the nine-block area between the Pyramid and the campus of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Council members review and discuss the plan before the vote during a 1:20 p.m. committee session.

PROPERTY SALES 98 172 17,556
MORTGAGES 101 194 20,229
BUILDING PERMITS 223 349 36,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 115 11,279