SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) — A years-long conversation over a controversial Summerfield development came to an end Tuesday night.
Town Council voted against changing the town’s development plan, which would’ve paved the way for 600 apartments to come to the area.
Nearly 100 people signed up to speak during the public comment period of the meeting. People were very passionate, and the vast majority were against this change.
“I think our community has spoken that we don’t want this,” said one man. “It’s not just a small group of people. There are more people that showed up in this room tonight that vote every year. Think about that.”
Others were open to more housing developments, but don’t want apartments coming to their town.
“We do need a variety of housing in Summerfield for our teachers, firefighters, public servants and others,” said another man. “But not apartments. The American dream is homeownership. I haven’t heard of anyone dream of having apartments.”
It was standing room only at the beginning of the meeting at First Baptist Church.
Much of the discussion centered around a proposed development, which would bring 600 apartments, shops and walking and biking trails to Pleasant Ridge Road in Summerfield.
It’s called the Villages at Summerfield Farms and would include 11 villages on 973 acres connected by streets and walking trails.
Those opposed to the development want to keep the rural charm of Summerfield and don’t want 20-plus years of construction happening in their town.
People in favor were open to the change and said they appreciated the work the developer, David Couch, has put in to make the development fit the town’s needs. Couch originally proposed 1,200 apartments. He chopped the number in half.
“Our planning board has been working on this for a long time and knows all the details has for a second time recommended this for our town because they think it’s what’s best for everybody,” said one man in favor. “I think that should weigh heavy on all of us.”
One woman said people in favor are afraid to speak up because they’ve been harassed.
“A handful of vocal opponents may be the loudest, but they are not the majority,” she said.
The developer can develop the land but will have to abide by the town’s current development guidelines.