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Letter: Eminent domain and ageism
letter to the editor 2

GDOT has decided to raze eight homes at the Orchards of Big Creek as part of the State Rt 9 widening project. The Orchards at Big Creek is a retirement community consisting of 89 homes located at the intersection of [Hwy.] 9 North and Fowler Road. The eight homes to be razed include people with handicaps such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease. Some are also veterans. 

These buildings were completed just a few months ago and to tear them down seems absurd. Talk about a lack of communication between the builder and the GDOT. This is a travesty. For these people to be forced to relocate is a tremendous burden considering their age and physical condition. Some of them do not understand the process of Eminent Domain and are living in a constant state of anxiety and worry wondering what will happen to them. No one from GDOT has done one thing to allay these worries. It is difficult for people in our community to understand why GDOT cannot move to the other side of [Hwy.] 9 which has no houses. We know there is a small strip of wetlands on the opposite side of the road but it seems wetlands banking would be a viable solution rather than tearing apart a retirement community.

The other disturbing factor in this situation is what many of us in the community see as ageism. We are getting the feeling that we do not really count and our concerns are invalidated because we are old.

We also see a situation in Forsyth County where development and infrastructure are moving forward at such a rapid pace that the human element is being lost in the name of progress. Most of us in the

community understand the concept of eminent domain and right of way but to decimate a retirement community, create extreme hardship for elderly people and deny adequate due process is something the State of Georgia should not allow.

Denise Fontana