SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) — The town of Summerfield held an emergency meeting regarding a de-annexation bill making its way through the General Assembly.

Last week, the North Carolina Senate approved House Bill 5 after a second reading that would de-annex nearly 1,000 acres off of Pleasant Ridge Road, which is owned by developer David Couch.

Earlier this year, Couch proposed building a community called The Villages of Summerfield Farms. It would include nearly 600 apartments as well as other retail and amenities.

Members of the Summerfield Town Council turned down the proposal twice.

So Couch took his concerns to Senator Phil Berger, and now the House Bill is a topic of discussion in Raleigh.

During an emergency meeting Monday night, dozens of people showed up to learn what’s going to happen next.

After an hour-long closed-session meeting, the Summerfield Town Council passed three resolutions of good faith in negotiating with Couch.

Summerfield Mayor Timm Sessoms attributes to change of heart to House Bill 5.

We’re under a great deal of pressure from the North Carolina General Assembly. Anytime you have to look at a de-annexation the size of 973 acres in your town, it would be the largest de-annexation in the state of North Carolina. It’s never been done before. It’s a very serious matter,” Sessoms said.

It’s a matter community members like Jared Williams oppose.

He says he’s disappointed it looks like the town council changed its mind after voting against de-annexation in April.

“It’s irresponsible level of development, and it has absolutely zero limitation on the residential density,” Williams said.

Long-time resident Jeffrey Johnson also thinks the town can’t handle a population increase.

“I don’t think that we have the infrastructure to support it even if the water and sewer comes in. There’s a whole lot of stuff that needs to be taken care of. The schools are busting at the seams … Something is going to have to be done because it’s going to be impossible to get around town,” Johnson said.

In the resolutions passed Monday night, the town approved the reconsideration of Couch’s text amendment regarding how many apartments he could build and a commitment to advocate for the water system in the town that relies on well water as well as a scenic coordinator to watch over Couch’s project.

As the town awaits the outcome of House Bill 5, Sessoms has a message for residents.

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“We certainly understand the frustration of the people of Summerfield. We are always listening to them and their input. Ultimately, we are responsible to take care of the public interest and public safety. At this point, we’re trying to make the best deal we can for the town of Summerfield to protect our borders,” Sessoms said.

Sessoms says they will reconsider Couch’s amendment during another public meeting which is scheduled for Sept. 28.

The Senate has delayed the vote on House Bill 5 until at least Wednesday.