Plans call for redevelopment of Charlestown neighborhood - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plans call for redevelopment of Charlestown neighborhood

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Charlestown, Ind. is proposing plans to redevelop the Pleasant Ridge subdivision. Mayor Bob Hall says the plans are in the very early stages, but he hopes to use the project to bring new life to the area and reduce crime problems.

Mayor Bob Hall says he wants to replace the World War II era homes with new ones. He says plans could possibly include replacing the homes with a mixed development of seniors housing, apartments, and single family homes.

Hall said the project is in the very early stages. He says everything is riding on whether the city receives a state grant for the project, and the application for the grant has yet to be submitted.

"I would love to be able to share the plans but they aren't made yet," Hall said during Monday's city council meeting. "This has been an ongoing process and it will be for the next two to three months as we see what is feasible."

The roughly 300 homes in the subdivision are privately owned, many of them by landlords who rent the properties.

Mayor Bob Hall says the neighborhood is the location of nearly fifty percent of the city's police calls, and costs the city money.

"It takes tons of resources to go up there," said Hall who claims it isn't just Police but utilities, trash, and animal problems. "We are always getting calls from neighbors about trash being dumped, and animal control, and the list goes on."

Neighbors say it is obvious that some homes in the subdivision are in need of care, but others are well maintained and occupied by loving owners. Leona Cooper has lived in her Pleasant Ridge home for over fifty years and says she won't sell her home to the city without a fight.

"I've been in this same house since 1953," she said. "And if anybody thinks they're going to take it away from me, they better have a bunch of money in their pocket."

Cooper says she would accept $100,000 for her home, and not a penny less.

According to the mayor, home owners will receive appraised value from their property. The grant will only pay for up to $15,000 of each home, so the city will have to find other partners to pay the remainder.

"We want to make sure that every home owner is treated fairly and taken care of," said Hall who claims that according to the plans, not every house will have to be torn down. He said each house will be evaluated, and some will be able to stay.

But according to Hall's statements at Monday's council meeting, there are currently no plans to assist renters in the neighborhood.

"Most renters usually decimate into the community and other rental properties, or they'll move to another area," he said.

Jacqueline Baird has lived in Pleasant Ridge for nearly a year and says she won't be able to afford to live anywhere else.

"When I moved in here, my small son and I were homeless, and luckily we were able to find a landlord that worked with us," she said. "Where are we going to live? What are we going to do now?"

Hall said the city will find out if it received the grant on July 24. After that, they will hold public hearings with residents.

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