Summerfield residents have mixed feelings over new housing development

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SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — A new development to be built in the center of Summerfield has been proposed. 

The “Summerfield Farms Village” concept would be an “Agri-hood” or an integration of housing and agriculture. 

With trees, open land, gorgeous views and a working farm, developer David Couch has a plan.

“It’s very seldom that you have 650 acres upon which to master plan a development of this nature,” he said. 

The planned community would offer homes at different price points, designated “rural vistas” and an assisted living facility. 

“We know that housing demand will be up in [Guilford] County, and we also know that Summerfield is in need of multiple different housing options,” Couch said.

Even in the beginning stages, it’s a controversial project

Some people FOX8 spoke with are excited about the possibility of having more affordable housing options.

M.J. Taylor used to live in Summerfield and now lives just over the Greensboro boundary line. 

She has plans to move back some day.

“I enjoy the house I’ve been able to have for the last seven years, but I want to downsize one day, and I really don’t want to leave the community,” Taylor said. 

She is looking forward to the proposed planned community and what it could offer so many people, especially as families stay at their homes more during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“To have that for my future and for my kids who might want to continue living here,” Taylor said. “Forward motion is just what’s going to happen. We can’t stop growth.”

But not everyone is on board.

“If we wanted to live in Greensboro and a high-density development, we would have moved there,” said Paul Poole, a Summerfield resident. 

He’s concerned that the village project will change everything he loves about his town.

“It’s going to be a large development. It’s going to change the heart of Summerfield forever,” Poole said. “We might move.”

Poole is also worried that building the community would come at a cost.

“Summerfield does not have a municipal water system. We have wells,” he explained.

For Couch’s vision to work, there would need to be a connection to sewer and water lines. 

Couch is proposing that Greensboro leaders use a bond to expand the city’s utility line just to Summerfield Farms Village.

That way, only people who live in the community or who want access to the sewer and water system would have to pay with extra fees and taxes. 

“There’s no negative impact to any Greensboro citizen, any Guilford County citizen or any Summerfield citizen,” Couch said. “It’s designed to pay for itself solely on the basis of what gets built here over the next 25 years.”

He’s hoping he gets approval from Greensboro and Summerfield officials, so he can create something special in Summerfield. 

“A world class development and one that will stand out in the area,” Couch said.

On Oct. 13, a town council meeting will be held to gauge interest in Couch’s project, specifically with the idea of creating a connection to Greensboro’s sewer and water line.

Couch told FOX8 he’s seen a lot of misinformation online about the development and encouraged people to head to the website for details. 

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