Ormond builder says he's not to blame for low income housing

Letters to the Editor
September 06, 2006 at 1:27 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

In response to the article written by Keirsten Williams, I would like to interject the facts in the midst of the obvious emotional outburst that Ms. Williams displayed in her letter to the editor for the week of August 31, 2006.

First and foremost, I am James Pettigrew and I am not building "low-income" housing in the Ormond Plantation Subdivision. I have not even put a price on the units I am building, have not marketed those units and to pose that I am a low-income developer is slanderous, harmful, and just plain wrong.

Actually I have had the best interest of Ormond Plantation in my design from the start in St. Charles Parish. I have rezoned R-3 areas that could have been high-density multi-family apartments to R1-A Residential requiring 60' lot frontages in Ormond. The Multi-family units would have been potentially much more profitable to me and certainly less cumbersome through Planning & Zoning, but in good faith and in keeping with the overall concept of Ormond Plantation, I decided to rezone it to single family residential homes. This would be for your benefit, Ms. Williams, not mine.

Ms. Williams stated, "Developers who are trying to clean the street up by replacing the low-income housing with higher end townhomes will not want to continue investing if the parish allows builders like Mr. Pettigrew to continue to ruin the street." Such a statement is erroneous and slanderous. To attach my name, James Pettigrew, to the likes of the people who have not kept their properties up to the standard for which Ormond would like to be recognized is an enforcement issue.

The people Ms. Williams should be pointing the finger at are living in her own back yard. They are also the people charged with enforcing the covenants of Ormond Plantation; not the builders who are seeking to provide the best use possible for the surrounding land and abandoned and vacant lots in the midst of a deteriorating neighborhood. The problem is community pride, or lack thereof, not progressive development.

Respectfully yours,

James Pettigrew

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