Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shooting spurs calls for neighborhood name change

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 12:56 PM

The Eastside Political Action Committee has issued a release asking the city council to change the name of a neighborhood getting a bad reputation following another violent event.

According to the group's press release, the violence isn't happening in Cedars East. "The Cedars East neighborhood is immediately to the west of that complex, and because of name association, bears the brunt of negative publicity associated with Idlewild Apartments," states the release.

Here's the full statement:

The fatal shooting Monday of a man at Idlewild Apartments is the most recent of a long list of criminal actions at the violent apartment compound at Idlewild Road just north of Independence Boulevard.

According to CMPD Crime Mapping statistics of the most recent 12-month period, the large, deteriorating and absentee-owned complex has also experienced:

87 residential burglaries

39 drug incidents (possession and/or manufacturing)

23 aggrivated assaults

38 non-aggrivated assaults

32 cases of vandalism

8 armed robberies

3 sex offenses

2 strong arm robberies

and other criminal incidents.

The complex is a disaster; its out-of-state owners do not work with CMPD to maintain safety there.

A large percentage of tenants are recipients of Section 8 vouchers. As the stated goal of the Charlotte Housing Authority is "delivering safe, decent and sanitary housing to families who cannot afford conventional housing," we urgently request:

1. CMPD immediately report to the City Attorney, District Attorney, City Council and Charlotte Housing Authority on the condition of public safety at Idlewild Apartments and how it has fared in its attempts to work with the site owners to foster public safety.

2. The City Council direct the Charlotte Housing Authority to withdraw Idlewild Apartments from its list of residences deemed safe for Section 8 tenants, and that Section 8 vouchers not be allowed at Idlewild Apartments.

The long-standing notoriety of Idlewild Apartments is of great concern to nearby neighborhoods whose well-being is called into question by proximity to this complex.

3. We ask the City Council to request that public safety in the vicinity of Idlewild Apartments be included in the plans for economic redevelopment of the distressed Independence Boulevard corridor.

4. We request the City Council to petition CDOT to rename Cedars East Court -- the public street within that apartment complex. Cedars East is one of many neighborhoods to have the misfortune of being located near Idlewild Apartments. The Cedars East neighborhood is immediately to the west of that complex, and because of name association, bears the brunt of negative publicity associated with Idlewild Apartments.

The deteriorating situation at Idlewild Apartments must be addressed by the city government; CMPD's Independence Division is working hard to contain the problem, but the complex is too large and its systemic problems are too profound.

Immediate action is needed. Immediate action is required.

Board of Directors

Coventry Woods Neighborhood Association

www.coventrywoods.org

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