‘Don’t let Summerfield become Greensboro’: Signs pop up across Summerfield in protest of development

Piedmont Triad News

SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) — Signs have been popping up all across Summerfield saying, “No planned developments. Don’t let Summerfield become Greensboro.”

FOX8 crews counted dozens of them in yards and on the side of the roads throughout town.

People said they will continue to fight against any changes to development ordinances to preserve the town’s charm.

“This was all farmland, and now it’s all houses,” Danny Nelson said.

One just has to look at the signs in his front yard to know that he’s very passionate about his hometown.

“I’ve been here since 1954. You’re standing on my home, I grew up on the land,” he said.

Nelson doesn’t want a proposed new development near Summerfield Farms, or any other planned development, to break ground.

He has a handful of signs in his front yard saying so.

“I understand progress, but we don’t have to overdevelop and do it in a fast, race car type situation,” Nelson said.

He’s worried any changes to the Summerfield Development Ordinances would alter their country lifestyle.

“In order to have big commerial box stores, service stations, or whatever they need, [they’ll] have to have the density and support of the citizens, and the numbers to erect or build those,” Nelson said.

Those changes haven’t happened yet, but it’s something the town council is considering.

“Summerfield is a town that largely wants to remain more rural,” Town Manager Scott Whitaker said.

He told FOX8 that two upcoming meetings will help them understand what both developers and the community want.

“It affects density on how closely people are living,” he added.

Right now, only one housing unit is allowed per acre.

That could change.

“Definition surrounding multi-family, and whether there should be certain limitations on those types of developments,” Whitaker said. “Growth is inevitable in Summerfield, and it’s just how we manage that growth.”

That’s exactly why Nelson and so many others are scared.

“We’re not going to stop development. We don’t plan to, but it needs to be slow and controlled development,” Nelson said. “It doesn’t need to be, in our opinion, development to where you get an influx of overcrowding the schools and overcrowding the roads.”

FOX8 crews spent several hours on Tuesday trying to find anyone in town who was excited for the new developments and possible change.

Only two people told FOX8 they were looking forward to it, but declined to go on camera.

There will be a public information meeting on Thursday, July 15, about a proposed amendment to the development ordinance at 6 p.m. at the Revolution Academy.

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