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D.C Moves To Dismiss $1B Gentrification Lawsuit From Development Opponent

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Legal industry, attorney, gavel

D.C. is asking a court to throw out a lawsuit from a frequent development opponent who is claiming the city's land-use policies discriminate against low-income and African-American residents. 

The District government in late June moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed in May in U.S. District Court by attorney Arisotle Theresa, on behalf of Southeast D.C. residents Paulette Matthews and Gretta Fuller and Northeast D.C. resident Shanifinne Ball, the Washington Post reports

Theresa, who has filed appeals of over a dozen D.C. developments, sought $1B in damages for D.C. policies he said were "classist, racist and ageist" and led to "widespread gentrification and displacement."

In its motion, D.C. said Theresa failed to provide factual evidence that land-use policies were intended to cause harm or that they disproportionately affect African-American residents. Theresa is due to submit a response by July 16. 

Theresa also represented Matthews and Fuller in a lawsuit filed last month appealing the Zoning Commission's approval of Redbrick LMD's 2.3M SF Poplar Point development. The attorney and this reporter discussed that project and the appeal Monday on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi show.