Neighbors not onboard with new development plans on Reitz Hill

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) The area behind Reitz High School is known for its historic homes, packed together on Reitz Hill. Now, people who live there could be getting new neighbors but not everyone is putting out the welcome mat.

The area behind Reitz High School during a typical school day is packed with cars lining the streets from students and staff. However, plans for more development in the area mans an empty parking spot could become a hot commodity.

“Very crowded, it’s very difficult for even the neighbors to find a place to park,” said Reitz Hill resident Carol Ramsey.

The residents’ usual saving grace is a quarter acre lot off Forest Avenue. However, a developer has announced plans to build five new homes there, taking away the hidden gem. The singe-family homes are expected to be 1,200 square feet with an attached garage.

“Those homes will be crammed on that quarter lot,” said Reitz Hill resident Doreen Hallenberger.

Neighbors say they’ve been parking here for more than 50 years.

“They’re going to be forced to be parked on the road now which will just congest the problem even worse. We’re concerned about our kids, their safety, the safety of the school bus drivers, the firetrucks, the ambulances,” said Hallenberger.

“There’s not a lot of new home construction that goes on up there since most of the houses date, certainly pre-1930 or pre-1920, because it is an older community, the streets are very narrow. Many people know that it’s tough to get up and down Reitz Hill when there’s a lot of people,” said Reitz Hill resident Tony Ricketts.

Residents now meeting on Monday night’s to discuss the situation.

“There’s a lot of problems that they haven’t really checked out, it’s just kind of up in the air right now and we want some answers before they start building,” said Ramsey.

Residents also asked the EVSC School Board for their help. The board responded saying they’re concerned with anything that could endanger their schools but did not elaborate on what, if anything, they could do to help. Eyewitness News reached out to the developer to find out if the residents’ concerns have altered their building plans, we have not yet heard back.

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(This story was originally published on January 29, 2019)

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