VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Six homeowners in Chesopeian Colony have filed a lawsuit against the city of Virginia Beach over their plans to dredge parts of the Lynnhaven River.

“It’s pathetic that they would take advantage of persons, I’m retired, I’m 76-years-old, I’m not going anywhere,” said Mike Aschkenas, one of the homeowners that is suing. “It’s quiet, its surreal, we have animals, we have wildlife, this is a great environmental situation, it’s going to all be gone.”

In order to dredge the river, the city requires 80 percent of residents living along the waterway to approve. Those suing, say the city gerrymandered a special tax district, shrinking it from 164 homes to 122 homes.

“All of these were taken out of Chesopeian Colony because in most cases they were no votes, to get rid of them,” said Aschkenas.

Jim Melvin, who is also suing, said his property taxes have increased by $1,300 dollars to pay for the dredging.

“I’m retired, I’m on a fixed income, so if this keeps going up I have problems too,” said Melvin.

The residents’ attorney would like to see his clients reimbursed a total of $225,000 in taxes and another $350,000 in punitive damages.

“It is rather brazen that a group of individuals would think they could get away with something like this,” said attorney S.W. Dawson. “Cause it’s essentially taking money out of my clients’ pockets through an illegal means.”

Virginia Beach Deputy City Attorney, Chris Boynton, said the city plans to defend this lawsuit and nothing was done wrong.