Letter to the Editor – Times News

Oct 16, 2013 | By | Community

The following letter, written by Robert Monk, Vice President of Lee Resident Association, appeared in the Kingsport Times News “Letter to the Editor” section on October 11, 2013. It was also distributed to the CNI Steering Committee members. In this letter to the people of Kingsport, Mr. Monk says “We don’t want to stop any development… we just want the focus to remain on those whose homes may be taken away.”

Click here to download a PDF copy of Mr. Monk’s letter.

— As it appeared in the Times News —

Consider impact on Lee residents

I have lived in Kingsport my whole life. I reside in Lee Apartments on Dale Street. Lee Apartments has 128 apartments and is part of the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA). About 50 percent of the residents of Lee are elderly and disabled, and there are about 80 children that live here. We don’t have fancy homes, but we have a good, low-crime neighborhood. It’s convenient to city services, and we make the best of what we have. I am the vice president of our neighborhood resident organization.

KHRA received a grant to study whether Lee Apartments should be rehabilitated or torn down, and along with that to create a plan for the greater downtown area and its development. While residents at Lee realize some upgrade of buildings built in the 1940s is necessary, we are worried that the planning process is losing its focus and forgetting who these plans most affect. While new parks, better roads, more shopping and more condos in the downtown area are a great idea, it’s important to remember that there are people — elderly and disabled, and families — who live here. It is the residents who will be most affected by any changes that come. It is the residents who will have their lives turned upside down. Please don’t forget that. We don’t want to stop development. We just want the focus to remain on those whose homes may be taken. We hope Kingsport is up to the challenge of taking care of its own. We look forward to further planning with a focus on, and input from, the people who bear the cost of change, the Lee Apartments residents.

Robert Monk

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