Charlestown city council delays vote on Pleasant Ridge developme - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Charlestown city council delays vote on Pleasant Ridge development proposal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- While many call it a missed opportunity, plenty of people in Charlestown, Indiana were celebrating Monday night after learning that they will get to keep their homes. A motion not to vote on redevelopment plans in Pleasant Ridge has halted the project.

The Charlestown city council decided it wouldn't support plans to tear down all the homes in the Pleasant Ridge subdivision and rebuild.

Without the council's support, the project can't go forward. Instead, the councils wants to look into tearing down and rebuilding only vacant homes.

The Arts and Enrichment Center of Charlestown was full of residents on both sides of the issue.

The more than 300 homes were built in the 1940s, originally meant to be temporary housing for workers building the ammunition plant. But once the government didn't need the homes anymore, they were individually sold. While plenty are owned by landlords and rented under Section Eight guidelines, others are occupied by homeowners.

"To many, our homes in Pleasant Ridge are not much, our homes are below your standards," a resident said while fighting back tears. "But for us, it's the roof over our heads that keeps the rain from pouring down on us."

Other residents said the neighborhood is in bad condition and it's attracting crime.

"I'm telling you, it's bad," one resident said during the meeting. "It's really bad. Something needs to be done."

Those in support of redevelopment see it as the only option.

"I've found needles in my backyard, I can't have my grandchildren there," another resident explained. "These are serious issues."

The mayor has applied for a state grant through the Blight Eradication Program to tear down the homes and rebuild, but not all are willing to move.

"We are asking you, save our homes, please save our homes," resident Jane Carter said.

Monday, the council unanimously decided not to pass a resolution to support rebuilding, as most said they'll only support the demolition of vacant homes, and homes that people want to sell.

After the meeting, Mayor Bob Hall expressed disappointment. He said without all the houses gone, no developer will sign on to rebuild in the neighborhood because the return on investment won't be high enough.

He said even after all the passion and personal attacks Monday night, he didn't take any of it personally.

"A lot of those people are my friends still, they just aren't friends on this issue," Mayor Hall said.

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