Topic: Redevelopment Plan
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»
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 Mayor Johnny Piper.
HUD authorities could not find any proposed objectives that would provide protection for low to moderate income residents and their property mentioned in the voted on ordinance.
The Clarksville NAACP first bought these issues to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and HUD after feeling that the civil rights and the federally protected rights of the Majority Minority Voting Ward was in jeopardy of being dismantled under this voted on redevelopment plan. «Read the rest of this article»
Unannounced $524,000 City Hall security package heralds Council’s return to former chambers.
Rejection of resident participation on redevelopment review board slams public demand for representation.
The Clarksville City Council returned to its Council Chambers, delivering two thunderous slaps to the public’s collective face in a single meeting.
Before delivering the back-to-back punches, and with the smell of fresh paint still lingering in the air, city departments, staff and council members were praised for their response to the recent tornado touchdowns in our community. Mayor Pro Temp Barbara Johnson gave city certificates to Council Members Deanna McLaughlin, Geno Grubs and Bill Summers for their personal efforts in aiding with the clean-up.
Old resolution # 73-2005-06 (also referred to as the “blight” ordinance”) is now resolution # 96-2007-08.
At a Special Called Session under heavy police presence, the Clarksville City Council heard from a wide cross-section of the affected redevelopment district and concerned citizens Monday night. Attendance was estimated at over 200 people. Despite pleas for more openness and deletion of the threat of eminent domain against homeowners and property owners, the Council gave first reading approval of Resolution 96-2007-08 with a vote tally of 3 Nays against 9 Yeas.
The agenda presented at the meeting deviated from that released to the public. The previously released agenda stated that the council “desires to delete Ordinance 73-2005-06 in its entirety and amend the same, or replace the same, with the hereafter Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan.” No explanation was offered for the change-up in agenda criteria. Ordinance 96-2007-08 was listed as “an ordinance adopting the Clarksville Center Redevelopment and Urban Renewal Plan.
After motions to delete several items from the agenda, Mayor Johnny Piper gave a slide presentation summarizing the history of the Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan. Acknowledging that the original plan had failed to follow several provisions of state law, Mayor Piper said several steps were taken to correct those flaws. However, repeal of the plan was never pursued. «Read the rest of this article»
The Castle Coalition, a national grassroots property rights group working on eminent domain issues, came to Clarksville Thursday to participate in a rally prior to the city’s public forum on the redevelopment plan held in the Burt School cafeteria on Thursday.
The rally featured Christina Walsh , Clarksville Property Rights Coalition Spokesman John Summers, Dan Brown of the Tennessee Preservation Trust and others. They addressed plan opponents and members of the press on the issues they perceive in the current version of Clarksville’s Redevelopment Plan. Summers and Brown have been frequent speakers at CPRC meetings.A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.
After the rally, the public forum began in the Burt School Cafeteria. with Mayor Piper making the first statement. The program continued with a presentation by Knoxville’s KCDC President Alvin Nance, followed by Downtown District Partnership board member and recent appointee to the Clarksville Housing Authority Frank Lott. The presentation given was identical to the KCDC video on the “Our view: The updated redevelopment plan still has major flaws” article; watching that video provided all the same information as last night’s forum.
Laws mean exactly what they say on paper; it does not matter what those who created it intended for it to say. What counts is in the actual letter of the law. Members of the City Council do not see any issues with the plan they approved, even though a common sense reading shows that this plan is faulty, open to major abuse, and was clearly intended to make it easier for developers to take private property from its owner and then profit from it. Mayor Piper and the council have denied that, but that is exactly how the currently plan reads.
Counting heads, the Fire Marshall allowed only 180 people inside the hall for the meeting, with another estimated 150 people turned away. [Editor’s note: At the Train Station meeting in December, more than 300 people turned out to oppose this plan.] CPRC members provided a list of the names and addresses of people who were denied access to this public forum: page after page was full of names and addresses. «Read the rest of this article»
How the Threat of Eminent Domain Harms Property Owners
An irony of urban redevelopment is that the purported goal of economic development is usually hampered by government’s insistence on retaining the power of eminent domain for a project. Forest City, a developer infamous for its Atlantic Yards dispute in New York, is involved in just such a situation in Fresno, Calif. Fresno decided in 2005 that the area south of Chukchansi Park, home of the city’s minor league baseball team, should be “revitalized.” The next year, the city hired mega-developer Forest City to begin the downtown redevelopment; unfortunately, the very plan designed to revitalize Fresno’s downtown is draining the area of not only its current tax base but hampering other future investments in that area.
Forest City’s plan for the 85-acre South Stadium area, which calls for a new shopping district and 700 new homes, has threatened more than 40 properties with eminent domain for private gain. 1 «Read the rest of this article»
The Progressive Citizens Advocates (PCA), along with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Branch of the NAACP, is sponsoring a town hall meeting at Greater Missionary Baptist Church which is located 450 Ringgold Road in Clarksville, on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. The meeting will feature an appearance by Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper.
Progressive Citizens Advocates membership is largely made up of ministers and progressive movers and shakers within the African American Community. The meeting will attempt to address the questions and issues surrounding the Downtown District Partnership’s Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan. The meeting is open to the public and will feature a question and answer period.
For more information contact PCA president Rev. Frank Washington (931) 980-1918 (cell).
The citizens of Clarksville continue to oppose an ordinance approved by the Clarksville City Council that declared most of the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods as “blighted.” This writer views “blighted” as the new buzz word for eminent domain.
The Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan, orchestrated by the Downtown District Partnership, has the potential to place over 1300 acres of land and over 1800 homes, churches, businesses, which may also include the Historic County Courthouse, in danger of seizure by the city for redevelopment.
Some believe that under this plan, developers could receive significant tax incentives for their participation in any projects developed as a result of the “blighted” designation.
A public forum and debate on eminent domain and how it relates to this controversial “Clarksville Center Redevelopment Plan” will be held Friday, December 14, 2007 at 7 PM at the H.O.P.E. Resource Center, 120-A Legion Street in Clarksville. «Read the rest of this article»
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