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Yorktown neighborhood fights for property threatened with eminent domain

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. - A Yorktown neighborhood wants justice.  That’s as they continue to fight for their property threatened with eminent domain.

The group is called "Yorktown United."  They’re against the town's plans of demolishing their neighborhood near Morrow’s Meadow.  The town is trying to make room for new business, green space and redevelopment.

According to the group:

“Yorktown United is a community effort made up of residents and supporters who are dedicated to making the town a better place for all by working with members of the community to revitalize downtown without the use of eminent domain.”

“It messes up not only my life, but my entire families life,” said Yorktown resident Janice Ross. “They sent me an appraisal and I didn’t respond because I didn’t want to sell. And the next thing is I got a notice for eminent domain.”

One of the homes on the chopping block is owned by Ross. She’s lived at her home for 20 years.  She told us her home is the center of her family.

“At 81 years old, to think I’m just going to have to just everything I’ve had here for 20 years I’m going to have to try and move and try find somewhere else to live,” said Ross.

The court has ruled against Ross, but, she’s not giving up for herself or for her neighbors.

Several neighbors joined together Monday night and showed up at the town council meeting.  Although the redevelopment plan wasn’t on the agenda to be discussed, a few community members voiced their concerns.

After the council meeting, "Yorktown United" staged a vigil with candles and signs.  It was there way to show the town and the council, they’re going to continue fighting for their homes.

“Around the corner from me, they’ve lived there 50 plus years. This is just ridiculous,” Ross added.

"Yorktown United" says they’re not against redevelopment. They just want the town to consider another location, that’s not in their own backyard.

“I don’t understand why they just want to wipe us out and get everybody out of their way, so they can build their dream town,” said Ross.

According to the group, Indiana law prohibits municipalities from using eminent domain to seize perfectly fine homes for private development.

Ross tells us she doesn’t know if or when she will be expected to move out.

FOX59 spoke with the Yorktown Town Manager on Monday night at the council meeting.

We were told bonds for the redevelopment project will be accepted before the end of the year.  Bids for construction will be introduced in the few months.  The council also added, they are willing to work and do everything they can to help the residents who find themselves in this issue.

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