Several groups opposing the Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan will hold a rally prior to the City of Clarksville’s public hearing scheduled on the Plan for this Thursday, March 20th, at 6:00pm. Opponents of the redevelopment plan should plan on wearing red clothing.
At 4:30pm on Thursday, the Clarksville Property Rights Coalition (CPRC) will hold a rally to protest the Redevelopment Plan and the recent new Plan Amendment proposed by Mayor Piper. The rally will be held in the parking lot across from Burt School, 110 Bailey Street, the location of the public hearing.
The Redevelopment Plan authorizes the use of eminent domain over more than 1,000 parcels of private property near downtown Clarksville. Under the Plan, government agencies have the power to condemn homes, businesses and churches then transfer the land to a private developer. The city approved the original ordinance and Plan last year, but failed to follow state law in notifying all affected property owners. A proposed amendment to the Plan has been prepared by Mayor Piper. The Amendment does not remove the condemnation provisions, but instead actually strengthens the eminent domain language.
“Eminent domain is for public use—roads, schools, parks,—this plan is primarily for private development,” said Becky McMahan, one of the organizers of the CPRC. “If Mayor Piper is honest about there being no plans to acquire anyone’s property, then why must eminent domain be authorized? We are not against development in Clarksville, but we are against the city taking our homes and businesses to give to someone else to develop.”
In addition to the CPRC, Christina Walsh, the Castle Coalition Coordinator at the Institute for Justice will also address the rally, The Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm, has long defended home and small business owners across the country, and represented Susette Kelo and her neighbors before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London. The Castle Coalition, the grassroots advocacy project of the Institute, helps property owners nationwide stop governments and developers from abusing eminent domain.
Dan Brown, Executive Director of the Tennessee Preservation Trust, a state-wide historic preservation organization, will also address the rally. The TPT has expressed concerned over the loss of historic structures as a result of the Plan. Several other commuity groups have been invited to participate in the rally.
For Additional Information Contact:
- John Summers, CPRC – (615) 415-3016
- Christina Walsh, Castle Coalition – (703) 682-9320