GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s no secret we need more affordable housing.
The problem is when developers bring proposals to city leaders, they’re often met with backlash. The latest tug of war was over a rezoning request in Greensboro to bring 252 apartment units to a property on Summit Avenue.
The request did overwhelmingly pass. Some city council members were worried about the land the housing will sit on and what is around it. There are wetlands on the site, which they worry could be hard to develop near.
People who live in the area welcome the growth but have concerns about the traffic added to the two-lane road with so many units.
“This is not a case of ‘not in my backyard,'” said Julia Blizin, who lives on Summit Avenue.
Blizin lives about half a mile from where a developer plans to build the Adams Crossing apartment complex at 4902 Summit Avenue in Greensboro. It’s designed for 13 buildings with apartments catering to low-income families.
“We know there’s a need. We’d really like to help meet that,” Blizin said.
Originally, the 25-acre property was zoned to allow 145 units, which most people living along the road did not oppose.
“Now, of course, we would like to see it developed there,” said Michael Mittman, who lives on Summit Avenue.
At Tuesday night’s Greensboro City Council meeting, council members approved increasing the number of units to 252, which includes one, two and three-bedroom options.
“We need housing in our community because we don’t want all of these great job announcements, people who are commuting in from other communities,” Mayor Nancy Vaughan said. “We need to fill them right here.”
The developer showed council members the property’s proximity to schools and grocery stores. Some council members remained skeptical because of the lack of accessibility surrounding this land.
“We are in food deserts,” said Sharon Hightower, who represents District 1. “We are in health care deserts.”
Goldie Wells is over the district where this development would be built.
“I know we need housing, but then I think about the conditions we might be creating, so it makes me troubled,” she said.
Railroad tracks line the property on one side. Thirty-eight trains run through there a day. Frazier Glenn Investments will develop the land and promised to put up a six-foot fence as well as a line of trees to create a barrier between the tracks and the apartments.
“It’s not thinking about the safety of this community or the individuals that would be the potential residents there,” Mittman said.
Since the rezoning is approved, the developer now has to go through the Technical Review Committee. After that, if he gets the funding he’s applying for, he will have the all-clear to build.