SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s a big plan for a small town.
on Thursday, Piedmont Triad developer David Couch unveiled new plans for nearly 1,000 acres in the heart of Summerfield in northwest Guilford County.
“The only way we’re going to preserve any of these long views over open space is to be able to land plan this acreage all as one,” Couch said.
Couch has tweaked his vision for the land since 2011. His plan would transform 973 acres into the Villages of Summerfield, a community broken into 11 villages connected by streets and walking trails.
There would be housing to accommodate anyone from young adults to seniors. It includes several types of housing from apartments to estates.
There would also be a one-stop-shop for anyone’s needs.
“There will be multiple commercial opportunities from the corner store inside one of the villages to most likely a new grocery store and several restaurant opportunities up at the village, which is at [interstate]73 and [highway]150,” he said.
Renderings show the development was designed with nature in mind. Trees planted along the streets, walking trails and corner cafes are surrounded by greenery.
The villages will be connected to a municipal water and sewer source.
But at this time, there is no agreement with any surrounding cities or counties. It’s something some Summerfield residents don’t want to happen.
“They’re not being asked to pay for it,” Couch said. “They’re not being asked to connect to it, and it’s being made available if they needed to connect to it.”
Elizabeth McClellan’s property is right next to the proposed development.
“There aren’t a lot of towns left like this. So if you want a Chapel Hill or Cary, there’s a lot of towns you can move to that have those opportunities,” McClellan said. “If you want to live in a commercial/apartment area…those are available.”
The plans do not meet Summerfield’s Unified Development Ordinance passed in 2021. Couch told FOX8 he plans to file for a special exception for the nearly 1,000 acres.
“It’s a self-imposed zoning district that would be used to develop this along with a regulating document called the development agreement that are the rules and regs,” he said.
McClellan said she’s open to a change in the community if it sticks to the ordinance already in place.
“I think anything that changes the development ordinance or amends it becomes an issue,” she said. “It ultimately changes the complete dynamic of the town.”
If the town approves an exception to the ordinance, rezoning crews could start construction within the next three to four years.
“It’s an opportunity to help complete the town, to be a complete town, so we wouldn’t have to go to Greensboro every time we want to go out to eat,” Couch said.
He anticipates all 11 village phases will be completed over the next 20 years.