As Charlestown works on redevelopment plan for Pleasant Ridge, r - WDRB 41 Louisville News

As Charlestown works on redevelopment plan for Pleasant Ridge, residents say they're being forced out

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CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Getting rid of blight and crime may sound like a good idea for the Pleasant Ridge subdivision in Charlestown, but residents believe city leaders are trying to force them out of their homes. 

At a council meeting Monday night, neighbors said they want their neighborhood improved but the city is going about it the wrong way. 

"I do not want to leave my home," one resident said. "I do not plan to sell my home so I just want you to know that I know that it's very important to me." 

Several residents who live in the Pleasant Ridge subdivision say the city of Charlestown is trying to force them out.

"there's been a lot of this and a lot of that but in reality it's about the money it's always about the money," another resident said. 

Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall says a lot of the homes in the area are worn down and dangerous. And after years of work and lots of money spent, Hall says they've had no luck improving the area. 

He believes many other residents actually want out.

"They'd like to do it, but their property values have gone down," Mayor Hall said. "They don't like living in an area that is particularly ridden with crime and drug dealers. We try to manage with the police department, but it's gotten beyond that."

Monday night, council members voted to let the city work on a redevelopment plan for Pleasant Ridge neighborhood, but it's not yet clear what that means for residents.

Newly elected council member Tina Barnes is the only one who voted against it.

"It wasn't published that this resolution was gonna come out, even on the agenda it doesn't say what the resolution is going to be on it," Barnes said. "So how is anybody in Charlestown supposed to know what it was? Transparency in government is not here."

The city also voted on an inspection program for at-risk residential rental properties.

It would allow for a yearly inspection of homes that are at least 65-years-old, don't have a foundation, or were built with materials now deemed hazardous.

Residents say it's just another way to target them. 

In 2014, the council discussed a similar idea to the redevelopment plan but it never passed a vote. 

You can read the resolution for a redevelopment here.

You can read the inspection ordinance here.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved. 

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