A Redevelopment Project Draws Criticism in Rockford

It is a program designed to help run down and undeveloped areas. Thursday night a public hearing was held to answer questions residents had about the project, and how it will affect their lives.

Most the concerns didn't have to do with new houses being built. They had to do with how the proposed plan would physically affect the well maintained homes that people have been living in for years.

The public hearing did get a little heated on more than one issue, but much of the meeting was spent discussing what private property is and what public right of way is.

The proposed Hope VI TIF project would make vast improvements to the local infrastructure, including additional sidewalks. The required construction would involve ripping out anything near the road, in an area called public right of way. Many residents who made improvements to their property near the street are upset because their landscaping would have to go.

Another issue that was heavily debated was whether or not residents would be forced out of their homes. All parties involved in the Hope VI TIF project say no one has, and no one will be removed. Everyone who is sells their house does so on a voluntary basis.