Plan unveiled to renew Charleston's West Side

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority has drafted a plan to renew the West Side of Charleston.

The plan was originally approved in 2008. CURA's Executive Director, Ron Butlin says these plans usually take about 20 years to come full circle.

"There are a lot of things that go out of date in the process of ten years we realized are a lot of things that we can expand and do a better job of illustrating," Butlin said.

Things like safety, growth, neighborhood perception, equity and connectivity are all a part of the new draft plan.

Butlin says he hopes the plan will help bring in more residents and homes. He says by having more people and homes, that will help reduce crime because there will be more sets of eyes and lights.

"The ultimate goal is to (get) the neighborhood back to where people looked out for each other and barbecued on the front porch. We want to try and encourage the recreation of that. We can't do everything but we have some tools to help push things along," Butlin said.

"If they get these sidewalks and things straightened and cleaned up you'll find more people out here walking their kids, walking their dogs, just like I used to do," said Carrie Matt, a West Side resident of more than 60 years.

The draft plan is available at Butlin says West Side residents have about three weeks to review it and send any comments, questions or concerns to CURA.

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