CHARLESTOWN, IN (WAVE) - In the midst of a battle to keep new development at bay, the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood of Charlestown, IN, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Residents of the World War II era subdivision have sued the city, the mayor and developers over inspections and fines levied against homeowners -- twice.
They believe fines are being used to force homeowners to sell to developers, who want to build more upscale housing.
While the mayor says there are too many blighted properties in the neighborhood, homeowners are proud. They’ve banded together into a strong neighborhood association.
Since Pleasant Ridge has been designated as a historic district, the neighborhood has a layer of protection when it comes to new construction and demolition. Residents hope that will stave off developers, making it harder for them to buy up and demolish homes.
“If the City of Charlestown wants to pursue federal grants in their effort to destroy this neighborhood, they’re going to have to go through a stringent process,” Greg Sekula, with the Southern Regional Office of Indiana Landmarks, said.
The designation puts forward several hurdles for developers looking to make changes to the area -- like environmental impact studies.
It also gives residents access to certain tax credits.