Residents address concerns about development along Elm Avenue

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Waco homeowners are speaking out against proposed improvements to a historic Waco neighborhood.

It was a packed room Monday as the city was discussing a complete face lift to Elm Avenue and input poured in from homeowners during Monday’s meeting.

The city and outside businesses looking to invest millions of dollars along the stretch. Including street improvements, along with new restaurants and hotels.

Homeowners like Jackie Harris are worried about it’s impact.

“I live in an older home and I know that if they go up, and the owner wants it to go up and rebuild, it might be more cost for rent and that means we may or may not be able to live there,” Harris said.

One big concern includes affordability. Others worried if gentrification of any kind could run the disabled and elderly out of their homes.

“Some people that I talked to are worried about their property taxes going up,” Harris said. “Whether or not some have lived here longer than me and they have a lot of homes that are in their families.”

Local nonprofit City Center Waco jotted down the concerns addressed at the meeting.

“One of the most important things that is going on is that people who love their community are starting to wonder whether it’s slipping out of their grasp,” executive director Megan Henderson said.  “As these changes are happening, I think it is important to touch base and say- do we need to put more policies or other practices in place?”

Community members say this is a start to make sure everyone has a say in the upgrades.

“I’m hoping that they will be able to bridge Waco as a unified area altogether,” Harris said.
 

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April 29 2021 07:00 pm

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