by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte City Council passed a budget that did not include a capital improvements plan, which means the demolition of a hotel neighbors wanted will have to wait.
With their children by their side, a group of east Charlotte residents showed a clear message on the posters they held during a protest outside the Government Center on Monday night.
The residents want to see the Charlotte Inn on East Independence Boulevard closed and demolished.
“For us, it helps us get rid of a lot of the crime factor away from our neighborhood,” said Jerome Deveix with the Commonwealth Park Neighborhood Association.
Members of the neighborhood group collected 600 signatures on a petition that they then presented to City Council.
One of the people to sign the petition was Allison Billings. She lives less than a block from the hotel.
"There've been members of gangs arrested there. There've been deaths and murders there. Prostitution, drug arrests -- I mean, it's not just a group of people saying that it's happening. The police are telling us monthly in our meetings how much crime is happening at that hotel," she said.
The demolition of the Inn was included in the city’s budget proposal as part of the redevelopment of Bojangles’ Coliseum.
While most neighbors want to see the hotel demolished, one man said he did not see a problem with it.
"I stayed there a few years back, and there's nothing wrong with the motel. I've seen nothing going on out of the ordinary,” said Ronnie Brady.
For Billings, she said she and her neighbors will continue to fight.
"We don't want to move. We all love our neighborhood, and we think that the criminals should go, and not the families that are paying taxes,” Billings said.
The staff of the Charlotte Inn said they are working to make improvements to the business, but did not want to comment further.