“Sued for a half million dollars for speaking out…”
“This ordinance is detrimental to the community…”
“The City Council ‘rubber stamped’ the mayor…”
“I don’t think they have a plan…”
“Our Leadership doesn’t want to listen to us….”
“CHA is a shadow, not a voice…”
“Preying on minority communities…”
“I’ve never been to a public forum where the public couldn’t speak…”
This is what representatives from the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Institute for Justice heard when they came to Clarksville Thursday to listen to community concerns about the about the city’s controversial redevelopment plans. Seventy people participated in a fact-finding meeting at the New Providence Community Center on Oak Street sponsored by the NAACP and the Urban Resource Center.
Walter Atkinson, Senior Conciliation Specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (Southeast Region IV), in stating that the meeting was “to hear community concerns,” said his role was in part to try and avert “litigation.”
“I am here to listen and observe,” Atkinson said, noting that it was letters from NAACP Chapter President Jimmie Garland and Terry McMoore of the Urban Resource Center that focused federal attention on this local issue. Atkinson had been “in communication” with Mayor Johnny Piper and with the Downtown District Partnership Board. Piper, DDP members and most sitting City Councilors did not attend this meeting. Jim Doyle, who was not re-elected to his Ward 8 seat, along with newly elected councilors Candy Johnson, David Allen and Jeff Burkhart did attend the meeting and spoke with the Ward 6 constituency. «Read the rest of this article»
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will host a fact finding meeting tonight on the controversial downtown redevelopment plan, dubbed “the blight bill,” including its eminent domain and assemblage issues. The meeting will be held at the New Providence Outreach Center, 207 Oak Street, in Clarksville at 7:00 p.m.
The redevelopment plan was first brought to the attention of federal officials this summer, when local NAACP President Jimmie Garland submitted some concerns to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan as it was passed contained language that effectively “blighted” the entire downtown business district — two square miles. «Read the rest of this article»
The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will host a fact finding meeting on November 20 at 7 p.m. at the New Providence Outreach Center, 207 Oak Street, in Clarksville.According to Terry McMoore of the Urban Resource Center, this is a precursor to a larger public forum on downtown redevelopment issues.
The original Community Town Hall Meeting format was discarded in favor of this new agenda. Elected officials, community leaders and civic organizations have been invited to attend. The meeting is also open to interested members of the public. «Read the rest of this article»
Mayor Johnny Piper and the Downtown District Partnership will be going it alone when it comes to downtown development.
Montgomery County mayor Carolyn Bowers, in letters sent to Piper and DDP chair Scott Giles, said the county will not participate in the controversial Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan, which had been dubbed “the blight bill.” The proposed plan which was approved by the City Council earlier this year had been strongly opposed by the Clarksville Property Owners Coalition, a grassroots group that has challenged the legality of the program and process of eminent domain and an assemblage clause. The redevelopment plan would offer tax increment financing for certain property developments. «Read the rest of this article»
Successful Main Streets and Downtown Districts have a transportation hub at their core, in other words, mass transit. Something to bring people directly into the downtown area for jobs, shopping, city business, arts centers and museums. They don’t shift to the outskirts and out of sight. If they must send the primary station to the outskirts, they run free shuttles to key downtown sites (a perfect use for old fashioned trolley-style buses).
Progressive cities also don’t have car dealerships and acres of single-level church parking lots at their core. They make certain that ample handicapped accessible parking slots are available on every downtown street, that parking (garages) are both plentiful and convenient for all citizens. «Read the rest of this article»
Ford keeps her building and gets more land; conflict settled through private negotiation, not government force
Arlington, Va.— Eminent domain will not be used against Nashville music entrepreneur Joy Ford in a hotly contested battle about the abuse of government for a developer’s private gain. In an agreement signed Tuesday night, September 30, Ford, who has fought eminent domain since June of this year, keeps both her building and obtains more land adjacent to her building along Nashville’s storied Music Row while agreeing to give up land behind her office.
“This agreement is a magnificent victory for Joy Ford and all Tennessee home and small business owners,” said Scott Bullock, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represented Ford and fights eminent domain abuse nationwide. “By challenging eminent domain abuse, Joy Ford obtained a landmark agreement where she keeps her building and gets more and better land next to it.” «Read the rest of this article»
Upon hearing of the City Council decision to eliminate the traditional parking meters and implement a “park and display” to pay for downtown parking fees, I felt my stomach curl. That is a second reason NOT to go downtown. Nothing is more annoying that than the back-and forth run those infernal machines.
The first reason, and by far the stronger reason, not to go downtown is the abyssimal lack of handicapped parking, Designated handicapped parking.
Let me preface with the statement that I am a huge fan of old-fashioned Main Street shopping. User friendly Main Street shopping. Shops such as Hodgepodge, streets such as Franklin Street, are a “breath of life” for someone like me, used to and loving huge unique Main Streets with a marvelous diversity of shops, manageable, accessible parking and park benches galore. I love small locally owned businesses. I avoid malls as if they dispensed bubonic plague. «Read the rest of this article»
The county’s Redevelopment Ad Hoc Committee met with community spokespersons recently to address concerns about the city’s redevelopment and urban renewal ordinance.
County Mayor Carolyn Bowers, County Commissioners Ron Sokol, Martha Brockman and Mark Banasiak, comprise the ad hoc committee on the redevelopment plan at the county level.
The ad hoc group met with a group of citizens representing minority community concerns. Attending were the meeting organizer, Terry McMoore, executive director of the Urban Resource Center; his wife Wanda McMoore; Turner McCullough Jr., a local community affairs and grassroots activist; Jimmy M. Garland Sr., Clarksville NAACP branch president and 3rd Vice President of the Tennessee State Conference NAACP; Candy Johnson, candidate for City Council Ward 5, and Pastor Timothy Grant, Deliverance Outreach Temple.
Mayor Bowers expressed appreciation for the group meeting with the committee to give input of citizens concerns with the redevelopment initiative underway.“Listening to Montgomery County citizens is the purpose of county government,” said County Mayor Bowers. «Read the rest of this article»
Hundreds of Clarksville residents converged downtown Friday for the festive dedication of the city’s newest development project: Strawberry Alley.
The project has tied up traffic, rerouted buses, and clogged streets for several months during the redesign, which included new, wider sidewalks with brick pavers, new plantings, a vintage style clock, and angled parking. The original lighting plan, which was overkill and required the wearing of sunglasses at night when it was first lit, was tampered down, with a number of the new lighting fixtures removes at the 11th hour and re-installed on a section of North Second Street. It was a wise decision, and did a lot to balance the appearance of the street. The much-discussed $100,000 custom fountain is scheduled to be installed in November, in time for the holiday season.
Strawberry Alley is the westerly portion of the former Legion Street. Officials took the portion of Legion Street from City Hall to North Second Street, renaming it after the wife of former Clarksville Mayor James Elder, whose strawberry patch at that location was paved over as the city expanded. «Read the rest of this article»
African American leaders to meet with Montgomery County Mayor, Redevelopment Plan Review Committee Members
A group of concerned leaders from the African American community in Clarksville will meet with Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers and County Commissioners on September 3 at the Old Courthouse Building, 1 Millennium Plaza (2nd & Commerce), in downtown Clarksville, at 4:00 p.m. Commissioners Mark Banasiak, Ron Sokol and Martha Brockman, the ad hoc subcommittee members reviewing the controversial Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan, will participate in the meeting.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to a complaint filed by the Clarksville NAACP found numerous flaws in the Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan voted into law by the City Council with full support of City of Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper. «Read the rest of this article»
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