SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) — A vision of a one-of-a-kind community in Guilford County is a step closer to happening, but not everyone is happy about it.
It’s the 973-acre Villages of Summerfield Farms Project.
A mixed-used project of this magnitude will be developer David Couch’s first.
He tells FOX8 it’s the reason why he hired a world-class team to help design and bring his vision of six years to reality.
Couch got approval from the Summerfield planning board to move his village district project forward.
He’ll have to face the town council yet again to see if ground can break.
“I know change comes. I think we should do it responsibly…knowing that Summerfield is a small town, and the infrastructure is not there yet,” one speaker said.
“As soon as this deal goes through, there is going to be 25 other people who are going to want to put the same thing,” another speaker said.
Those were some of the comments made in the more than four-hour Summerfield planning board meeting on Thursday night.
More than a dozen people shared their thoughts on plans for a village district coming to their small community.
“I’m all in, and I’ll do whatever it takes to bring this beautiful plan to fruition,” Couch said.
Couch revealed his plans to transform the area of nearly 1,000 acres into the Villages of Summerfield.
The community will be broken into 11 villages connected by streets and walking trails and include other commercial opportunities, a grocery store and several restaurants.
Couch had to condense his earlier plans which included 1200 apartments. He lowered that number to 600.
“He almost cut the number of apartments in half, and I believe that was his selling point this time for the text amendment,” said Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker. “Doesn’t mean it’ll pass at the council level…he hopes it’ll make it more attractive for the community and for the town.”
Some people at Thursday night’s meeting liked many of the concepts of the village district.
“I am a proponent of careful development. I am a proponent of network walking trails and open vistas. I am a proponent of a variety of housing types, however, I am not a proponent of apartments,” a speaker said.
“I am confident I am doing the right thing, and I am confident that our area needs a diversity in housing, and I’m confident our area needs availability and affordability,” Couch said.
A public hearing will be held Monday, Feb. 21, where the town council may make a decision about passing the revised text amendment.
If it passes, Couch can ask for a rezoning of the village district where a detailed development plan will be outlined.