Frustrated neighbors in Jeffersonville, Ind., showed up in big numbers Tuesday, speaking out against a proposal that would bring new apartments to their area.
Indianapolis-based BWI presented plans to build Mariposa Springs, a 45-unit, single-apartment complex, which would house the homeless and those with addiction issues. The proposed site at 406 Ewing Lane sits directly across the street from an elementary school.
Neighbors say it’s not the idea they are opposed to, but the location. A parent at the school, Bridgepoint Elementary, and neighbor, Jacob Conrad, was one of the dozens to attend the meeting with the developer.
“There is a need for this but the location is terrible. My three kids do not need to be exposed to drug addicts and homeless,” Conrad said.
BWI plans to partner with LifeSpring and assured neighbors that applicants would be vetted: no sex offenders or violent offenders. Management would also live on site for 24/7 supervision, BWI said.
Kelli Werner, the vice president of development at BWI, said two of the company’s existing developments had been built near schools with no problems.
The proposal, she said, is a positive, not a negative as BWI and LifeSpring work to address homelessness and drug addiction.
“We like to come in and be sure they are getting exactly what they need to be back on their feet and be independent,” Werner said of providing not just housing, but resources to their clients.
Barb Anderson, who runs Haven House, an area homeless shelter, attended the meeting. She said that ministry is needed in Jeffersonville.
“We’re not talking about bringing people in, we’re talking about our kids, our future, our neighbors and their kids and those are the people who are going to be living in those units,” Anderson told WLKY.
A rezoning hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25, when developers will meet with the planning commission. However, the Jeffersonville City Council has the final say on approving the project.