Patch, September 24, 2019: Eminent Domain Lawsuits Could Be Dropped Against Peoplestown
Two members of the city council have introduced an ordinance that directs the city’s law department to withdraw its eminent domain lawsuits against a number of Peoplestown residents. Michael Julian Bond and Andre Dickens introduced the ordinance on Tuesday. The ordinance will be considered by the city utilities committee on Tuesday afternoon.
One of the Peoplestown residents fighting to keep her home is 97-year-old Mattie Jackson, who has lived in the community for decades. Over the past six years, the city’s use of eminent domain has allowed it to take ownership of more than 20 houses on Jackson’s block, all of which it has demolished. Plans are to build a park and retention pond to address water runoff issues, but Jackson, along with Tanya Washington and others, are one of a handful of homeowners who have refused to sell.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms met with some of the homeowners back on April 30, 2019 in a meeting her staff described as “productive.” The community’s engineer provided a workaround plan, based on data the city provided in its discovery responses that would achieve the city’s flood mitigation goals and allow the residents to remain in their homes.