Dear Mr. Neace:
Please leave our homes in Pleasant Ridge alone.
We are the hard-working, long-time residents of the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood in Charlestown, Indiana. Throughout our years here, we have developed a deep connection to our homes: We have raised our children and grandchildren, have weathered the good times and bad, and have worked tirelessly our entire lives to provide for our families.
We know that, over the years, some of the homes in our community have deteriorated–but ours have not. A lot of our neighbors who lived in those homes are gone now, and we remain. Our homes are beautiful, and full of life and history. They house our most cherished memories. They are not for the taking.
Your desire to bulldoze our entire neighborhood is neither just nor transparent. It is unjust to tell us–after decades of pouring care and love into our homes and being responsible homeowners, who have every right to keep what we’ve worked so hard to own–that we have to give everything up so you can make money.
And when you work out a backdoor deal with Mayor Hall, designed to drive our property values down so that eminent domain will be cheap and easy–that’s just immoral.
We love our homes. Your properties may be rotting around us, but we’re not going anywhere.
Our neighborhood has challenged Charlestown’s efforts in court, and as you know, we recently won a preliminary injunction which stops Mayor Hall’s unconstitutional code-enforcement scheme in its tracks. As you continue to collaborate with the city, we want you to know that we won’t stop fighting for our homes and neighborhood. We will never stop.
But you have the opportunity to stop, and to do the right thing. We ask you now: please abandon your plans to raze and replace our homes in Pleasant Ridge. Incorporate the remaining residents into your plans so we can continue to live our lives in the homes we’ve loved so much for decades.
In doing so, tell the people of Charlestown, and the residents of Indiana and Kentucky–tell your customers, your employees, and your business partners, too–that you’re a principled developer who knows better than to violate people’s rights for your own private gain.
Pleasant Ridge residents