RAYMOND HUNTER, JR.
CITY OF CHATTANOOGA BEER BOARD
Session August 10, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Hamilton County No. 13-0709
Pamela A Fleenor, Chancellor.
petitioner seeks reversal of the denial of a beer permit by
the city. City's board asserts that the property is
unsuitable for a beer permit as it has lost its zoning status
as a "grandfathered in" restaurant, bar, or event
hall. The trial court affirmed the board's action. The
petitioner filed this appeal. The trial court lacked subject
matter jurisdiction to consider it. We vacate the trial
court's order and dismiss this case.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Vacated; Case Dismissed.
Raymond Hunter, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, pro se.
J. Reisman and Melinda Foster, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for
the appellee, City of Chattanooga Beer Board.
W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Thomas R. Frierson, II, J.,
W. MCCLARTY, JUDGE.
February 20, 1979, the Chattanooga Board of Commissioners
adopted Ordinance Number 7476, which zoned the property now
owned by Raymond Hunter, Jr. (hereinafter, "the
Property") at 2510 East Main Street as M-2, "Light
Industrial Zone." Restaurant, bars, and event halls are
not permitted uses on land zoned M-2. The Property had
previously been zoned C-2.
evidence was presented at trial regarding the use of the
Property prior to 1988. The petitioner in this matter,
Hunter, attached exhibits to his appellate brief to reflect
that the Property was used as a restaurant and/or bar before
the zoning change in 1979. Hunter also attempted to
supplement the record before this court.
business license with the City of Chattanooga
("City") is for one year and expires on March 31 of
each year. The license history for the Property was
introduced at trial and reflected the following restaurant
and/or bar use: Spuds of Ridgedale obtained a business
license to operate on the Property on April 21, 1988. More
than a year after Spuds of Ridgedale closed on July 26, 1989,
a business named D & D obtained a permit on August 16,
1990, and then closed on August 16, 1991. More than two and a
half years later, Stroker's obtained a business license
to operate on the Property on March 3, 1994. Stroker's
did not renew its license, which expired by operation of law
on March 31, 1995. Bootscooters applied for a business
license to operate on the Property on November 18, 1994.
Bootscooters did not renew its license, which expired on
March 31, 1995. Birdland Restaurant & Lounge applied for
a business license to operate on the Property on March 15,
1995. Birdland's business license expired on March 31,
1996. The Uptown Supper Club obtained a business license to
operate on the Property on October 14, 1996. Uptown's
business license expired on March 31, 1999.
purchased the Property in April of 2000. He applied for a
business license on May 9, 2000, to operate a restaurant
called "Off the Chain" on the Property. The next
day, Hunter submitted a change of name for the business from
"Off the Chain" to "Boo-Coe's."
Hunter first applied for a beer permit with the Chattanooga
Beer and Wrecker Board ("the Beer Board") for the
Property on September 13, 2000. The application for the beer
permit noted that the Property was zoned C-2. The beer permit
was approved and issued on October 5, 2000.
operating for a few years as Boo-Coe's, Hunter submitted
a business tax report to the City for the time period April
1, 2003, through March 31, 2004, in which he stated that his
business had no gross income. He eventually leased the
Property to third-parties. He was not in business with any of
the lessees, requiring the tenants to obtain their own
business licenses and beer permits.
March 1, 2004, the G-Spot applied for a business license to
operate a bar and grill on the Property. It obtained a beer
permit on March 4, 2004, and allowed the permit to expire on
December 31, 2006. On June 7, 2007, the Wet Bar obtained a
business license to operate a business on the Property. It
obtained a beer permit on the same day and allowed the permit
to expire on December 31, 2011. A restaurant called El Pokar
de Ases occupied the Property for a short time, but the last
beer permit issued for the Property expired on December 31,
2011. The business permit for El Pokar de Ases expired March
on May 19, 2012, Hunter began renting the Property as an
event hall. According to the relevant code provisions, an
event hall is a different use than a restaurant/bar.
City's Fire Marshal issued a Certificate of Occupancy
Count for an event hall on April 11, 2013. City's Land
Development Office issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the
event hall on April 17, 2013.
review of the record reflects that Hunter has a history of
City Beer Code violations. On April 18, 2009, at 3:03 a.m.,
the police and fire marshal went to the Property to conduct a
building inspection and observed a line of people waiting to
enter the establishment. The Chattanooga Police Department
("CPD") subsequently cited Hunter to appear before
the Beer Board for violation of City Code Section 5-47, which
prohibits any beer permittee to be open for business after
3:00 a.m. On May 7, ...