Watch: Court to decide if making Nashville homeowners pay for city sidewalks is unconstitutional

Nashville Fox 17’s Dennis Ferrier covers Southeastern Legal Foundation’s continued fight on behalf of its clients against Nashville’s unconstitutional sidewalk law that holds building permits hostage unless and until private property owners build sidewalks to nowhere or pay extortionate amounts to build sidewalks across town.

As Ferrier explains:

People like Jason Mayes, who really isn’t a builder. He is a dad, a family man and taxpayer who built a home on McCall Street and got a $9,000 bill for his sidewalk.

“It’s been frustrating. This was something that we didn’t plan for in our construction budget. It came right off of our money to finish our house,” Mayes said. “We actually have an unfinished space in our house. Obviously we don’t have landscaping partly due to this.”

There’s more. The city really doesn’t want Jason to build a sidewalk in front of his home. There is a culvert at the front end of his property that collects run-off. If he built a sidewalk here, it could cause terrible flooding in the neighborhood.

In the interview, SLF Litigation Director Braden Boucek lays out the real issue:

The city wants to build public infrastructure, but it has no idea how to pay for it and so it’s putting that cost on Nashville area homeowners, essentially Nashville is using its permit authority as a license to steal.

Watch the full interview at

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