Council passes Crown Center blight designation, but with reservations

union-hill-mapThe city council easily passed a blight designation Thursday for an $80 million development south of Crown Center, but some questioned it as they voted for it.

The blight designation needed for 18.4 acres to get tax breaks for a residential and commercial project hung on common flaws like cracked sidewalks – things that are common citywide, said councilman Quinton Lucas.

“We understand as much as the public understands this sure doesn’t seem to pass the smell test of what blight is,” he said.

Councilwoman Heather Hall said, “I don’t understand the word blight and Crown Center in the same sentence.”

The project could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and gets change in blight definitions, she said.

“We are hearing blight, blight, blight on every project,” she said. “When are we going to say it’s not blight anymore?”

She approves a project that would bring more residential into the city, she said, but does not believe the area should fall under the definition of blight.

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