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City amends Poppleton neighborhood redevelopment plan

The Poppelton community was built in 1870, just after the Civil War.
Bridging The Gap: Sarah Ann Street
Posted at 8:22 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 18:21:46-04

BALTIMORE — Residents in a West Baltimore community aren’t backing down.

For years, people in the Poppleton community have been fighting to preserve their neighborhood.

This has been a continuous dispute between Baltimore City and those living in the Poppleton community.

RELATED: Bridging The Gap: Sarah Ann Street

The city used the power of eminent domain to take over the land -- and gave it to developer, LA City Development, in 2006.

Residents said they were pushed out of their homes, and there is currently a lawsuit on whether the city's actions are lawful.

On Monday, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and community leaders announced an amendment to the City’s Land Disposition and Development Agreement (LDDA) related to the Poppleton Redevelopment Project

Residents have asked to meet with the city and developer, and for transparency with the redevelopment project.

MORE: Poppleton community fights to preserve the history of their neighborhoods

Bridging The Gap: Sarah Ann Street

The Poppelton community was built in 1870, just after the Civil War. The alley houses in the 1100 block of Sarah Ann Street were home to some of Baltimore’s working class Black residents.

After the Civil War, alley streets became more segregated. Sarah Ann Street, originally known as Harmony Lane, was no different. With the exception of two white tailors from Prussia and Bavaria, the block had mostly Black residents.

MORE: West Baltimore residents hold 'Save Our Block" block party in Poppleton community

In a bid to have the row of houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dr. Mary Ellen Hayward emphasized the significance of the surviving houses as ‘heightened’ because alley streets with Black residents in the late 19th century were scarce and because now many have been torn down.

In the early 2000s, Baltimore began acquiring properties in Poppleton by eminent domain for a New York-based developer eventually displacing dozens of residents, some who have lived there for more than 30 years.

After being put on hold for several years the project is back on.

Residents on Sarah Ann Street received relocation notices in March of 2021. Within the last year, one side of the block has been demolished, at least 10 families relocated.

Residents said the homes were supposed to be preserved but the city never followed through.

“Because we're property owners we’re able to fight for a little longer stay here. They weren’t property owners on Sarah Ann Street, they were renters. So, it was owned by the city, and these were the first people to be removed from the neighborhood," said Poppleton resident Sonia Eaddy.

The following key provisions of the amendment will be offered during the City's Board of Estimates meeting on July 20.

  • Removal of 319 and 321 N. Carrollton Avenue from the LDDA. The Eaddy’s will remain in their home, and those houses will not be condemned.
  • Assigning the rights and obligations related to the homes on the 1100 block of Sarah Ann Street to Black Women Build – Baltimore, Inc., to lead that restoration. Those homes remain slated for future homeownership opportunities;
  • Advancement of the next phase of development in Poppleton - an affordable senior housing development located at 231 N. Schroeder;
  • Forward negotiations with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) regarding the parcels that will support the redevelopment and planned expansion of Poe Homes;
  • And engagement of the community with respect to the development plans and the larger vision for the rest of the land.