GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — One Greensboro company is up against a group of McLeansville neighbors in a battle over land. A property owner’s request to rezone 178 acres of land is causing some friction with the residents who live nearby.

The land in question is made up of nine parcels of land between Knox Road, Bloomfield Road and Marley Drive in McLeansville. It’s all owned by Roy Carroll. Currently, all the land is zoned for mixed use. This means it’s intended to accommodate residential and commercial use.

In November of 2021, Roy Carroll put in a request to have the land rezoned for light industrial use. This means some manufacturing, wholesaling, warehousing, etc.

Residents say a development like this would cause more dangerous traffic near their homes and disrupt their way of life. Patrick O’Brien has lived on his Marley Drive property for most of his life. His father bought the home when Patrick was a teenager. Since then, he’s bought the land back and moved in with his father.

“I bought the land and the house to kind of move in and help take care of him and…keep the house up and protect it,” Patrick said.

Now he’s in a battle along with several of his neighbors to keep the land intact. The Carroll company rezoning request is a concern for Patrick since some of the land they want to rezone runs into his backyard.

“We have well water, and there’s a proposed map of Carroll corporations’ industrial site where the road runs right through the corner of my backyard where my well is. So I’m worried about the possibility of my well collapsing.” Patrick said.

Other residents along Knox Road say they’re concerned about increased traffic. Virginia Gassaway owns several properties along Knox Road and is concerned about the safety there.

“I just don’t want the traffic. They’re not going to widen the streets any to make the traffic any easier, so it’s going to become very dangerous,” Virginia said.

Residents say they’re most alarmed by signs from the company advertising the industrial land before the zoning vote is complete. There are at least two signs: one along Knox Road right before Marley Drive and one near Interstate 85.

“It’s very disturbing. I’m not sure if it’s Roy Carroll just being that confident or is there something else there. You have industrial signs set up on Knox Road and on the Interstate 85 advertising for industrial sites that have not been voted on yet in the zoning process.” Patrick said.

Mike Fox, the attorney representing Roy Carroll, says in real estate, it’s not uncommon to see signs advertising land before the zoning process is complete. Fox adds that his client respects the process and hopes to be a good neighbor.

Leslie Bell, director of the Guilford County planning board, says the signs shouldn’t affect the board’s vote at the next meeting.

“It definitely puts that thought in your mind that they know something we don’t know. But I hope that’s not the case, and we’re going to get a fair hearing out of this.” Patrick said.

Mike Fox and Roy Carroll did host a neighborhood Zoom meeting to hear residents’ concerns. Fox says they have no plans to host another at this time but always welcome constructive feedback from anyone who may be impacted.

Fox says at this time, there is no user for the land identified.

A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Greensboro.

It is a voting meeting, but there could be several outcomes.

If the vote goes through, both sides have a chance to appeal to the Guilford County Commission. If the vote passes, and there is no appeal, that will be the final vote.

75 percent of the board must vote in favor of the rezoning for it to pass.