I know I am not quite timely on a reflection on your nice column about the Broad Ripple neighborhood and the move by developers to build condos and bring more people into the area (Hoppe, “A Terrible Thing to Waste,” Jan. 11-18). But I wanted to mention what I have seen in Carmel, because it is another example: Large areas of individual homes and even some farms have been torn down and turned into dense condo housing during the last few years, and it is apparent to me that the “city fathers” (including those on administrative boards) have no interest in Carmel except doing all they can to build up a tax base. In doing so without vision or concern, they are adding so many people that the area cannot properly provide a good quality of life for most. If the money is right, the Carmel leaders have never met a project they didn’t like.
Within the last month or so, I have seen some of the most beautiful, solid homes in “old” Carmel torn down quickly, at the same time dozens of trees that were among the most mature and lovely have been cut down so entire areas were leveled, all for the purpose of adding more plain, crowded condos. And I have seen hundreds of condo living units go up with inadequate parking, so our driving and parking areas are becoming more and more crowded, and therefore more dangerous to all.
I couldn’t begin to describe all the crowded new buildings that have been constructed, or those that are in the planning stages, but, as I say, if they money is enough, Carmel will approve the building.
We (i.e., all Hoosiers) need to try to make sure our General Assembly quickly enacts some reasonable restrictions on local governments’ indiscriminate use of the power of eminent domain. A study committee was appointed, but I haven’t been able to find out their status, despite several requests to my own representative and to the Senate majority leader.
As you no doubt know, our legislators tend to be uncommunicative to their electors, and they seem to feel no obligation to truly represent the wishes and needs of the people “back home.”
If I had my way, all incumbent legislators, regardless of party, would be defeated and replaced with new people.
I can see that the over-crowding you mention, as well as the lack of respect for local neighborhoods, can occur anywhere, and the people need to put some brakes on some of those projects.