GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Plans for an affordable townhome development were paused after people living on Willard Street in Greensboro put up a fight against the proposal.

The development plans are located off East Wendover. It comes while the city is in a housing crisis. Hundreds of jobs are coming, and people want a say in where future homes go up. 

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“You don’t have to go up in every alley you see and try to build another city,” said Ronald Williams, who lives on Willard Street and is opposed to the development. “My heart is not there, not there now, never will be.” 

Williams has lived on the street for 12 years. When a zoning notice sign went up a few steps from his house, he got worried. 

“It will change the neighborhood dramatically because you will have cars coming in and out,” Williams said. 

3 Pillars Homes have plans to build 21 three-bedroom townhomes with a garage on 4.5 acres of land. 

There will be enough parking spots for at least 42 vehicles, which people in the community don’t want to clog the already busy street.  

“It’s just like packing sardines into one little chamber,” Williams said. “We don’t need that. Everybody needs air. Everybody needs space.” 

Williams told FOX8 that the current traffic flow is hard to navigate and a tight squeeze on the 18-foot-wide street. It’s 12-feet smaller than a standard city street and half the size of one required in new subdivisions, which is 36 feet. There are no sidewalks.

“They [developer] didn’t consult the community,” Williams said. “It was just like they kicked in your back door…uninvited,”

Project Manager Dwight Tatum understands Williams’ and the neighbors’ concerns. 

“We’ve learned how important it is to communicate with the immediate neighbors and letting them in on the vision,” he said. 

Tatum wants the neighborhood to see the benefit of bringing affordable housing to East Greensboro, something he calls maintenance-free living in luxury scaled units.   

“This is going to be good for this area…and that’s what we’re counting on that people understand,” Tatum said. “Overall, bringing in22 homeowners is going to be a great thing as opposed to having mattresses dumped, and people speed through because these people are going to want their neighborhood tamed a certain way as well.” 

Williams wants to keep his view the same no matter how the plans change.

“My bottom-line answer is ‘no,'” he said. “Please take it somewhere else.”  

City officials told FOX8 that speed bumps and widening the road are not options as of now. 

“We need houses. We need more units, but we cannot if it’s not a good place to put the houses,” said Councilwoman Goldie Wells, who represents the neighborhood. “I’m concerned about why we have little streets in Greensboro.” 

Tatum has less than 60 days to work on a compromise with neighbors. He said if the rezoning is denied, more than 10 single-family homes will be built under the original zoning. 

The city council is scheduled to revisit the rezoning request on Aug. 16.