Neighbors wary of proposed housing development in Ash community

Some people are wary of the upcoming developments in one of the fastest growing counties in the country.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:43 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - People who live in Ash describe it as a very small town and a place where “everybody knows everybody.”

But soon, Ash could look very different. That’s because there is a proposed development for a complex that would have almost 3,000 units and would take up more than 1,200 acres of land.

Many residents, such as Miriah Melvin, who live here say there just aren’t enough resources for a development that size.

Melvin grew up in the area and now works at the local hospital.

“If you’re talking about something this big as far as a community, you’re going to need more roads. You’re going to need more first responders. You’re going to need another hospital,” Melvin said.

Brunswick County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and County Planning Director Kirstie Dixon says they have to keep up with that growth somehow.

“There’s a lot of economic development going on. There are a lot of retirees who are relocating here and found Brunswick County as their new home. And we have to accommodate some of that growth....and through that is different projects,” Dixon said.

For those who are concerned about those projects, Dixon says there’s a process that goes into it.

“There’s a team of people reviewing projects and looking at those impacts and developers actually have to make road improvements to accommodate the amount of traffic that they’re going to impact.”

But Melvin is standing her ground, hoping to keep the project out of her small community.

“I know some people think we are firm in our ways and that growth is inevitable, but I don’t necessarily feel like that’s true. What do you do when you don’t have farmers to have jobs anymore?”

There will be a pre-application neighborhood meeting on Sept. 20 at Waccamaw Park at 5:30 p.m., where community members are encouraged to attend and express their opinions about the proposed development.