NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Neighbors are fighting a proposed development that could bring a new town house complex to Gordon Road.
A developer wants to build a 94 unit complex on 10 acres of land near Farrington Farms.
According to neighbors, in 2010, the county approved a plan that would have built 23 single-family houses on the land at 6469 Gordon Road. However, the developer was only allowed to build 15 until upgrades were made to Gordon Road. Right now, improvements to that road aren't expected to take place until the 2020s.
Neighbors said the developer has purchased more property and now wants to build a bigger development on the land.
Instead of going to the county for approval, the developer is asking the city to annex the properties and approve a town home complex.
Neighbors believe the developer is trying to circumvent the county, because its zoning rules are stricter.
Neighbors we talked to are concerned about adding traffic to Gordon Road.
"It seems like insanity to put more traffic out on this road," said Dr. Kim Turner, who lives off of Gordon Road.
She claims there have been more than 550 crashes on Gordon Road in the past 5 years, 5 involved school buses. She believes more traffic will increase those numbers.
Jan Magic-Banks lives in Farrington Farms. She said it is already difficult to make a left-hand turn out of the community.
"You have to make an illegal left hand turn to get out of this road into the suicide lane because you can't cross two lanes during rush hour," she said.
She is also concerned about the impact this could have on the re-sale value of her home.
"What is proposed are seven apartments just behind my property which is 20 feet from my fence," she said. "They are two stories and looking down into my home. What will happen to the people in the county for us to resell our single family homes because this is a patch-quilt environment. I don't think it is a good blend. It is too high density."
Neighbors are concerned that city council will repeat a controversial decision it made months ago, when it approved a voluntary annexation request from Flournoy Development and the zoning request that paved the way for a 282 unit apartment complex. The county had denied the developer's plans. This led to a deep rift between city and county leaders, which ended with county commissioners pulling support of the city's plan to bring baseball to Wilmington.
Gordon Road neighbors believe this may happen again because they are county residents, and therefore, have no representation on city council. Still, they are hoping city leaders listen to their concerns and consider them when deciding what to do.
City council will hold a public hearing on this issue on September 18 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.
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