Homeowners to voice concerns over neighborhood rezoning plan

by: Ken Lemon Updated:

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GASTONIA, N.C. - Angry homeowners will fight a plan to rezone land that buffers their neighborhood from one of the fastest-growing areas of Gastonia.

Homeowners told Channel 9 that they are worried problems will move into their community if a developer is allowed to build there.
 
Homeowner Cindi Boyer showed Eyewitness News how close the proposed zoned property comes to her house.
 
“That will be literally right in our face,” she said.
 
There is a 6-acre wooded lot across from her home on Glenwood Drive. She owns one of only two homes on the street.
 
“It’s a piece of the country in the city,” she said.
 
A real estate broker wants the zoning here changed from residential to C-3 commercial.
               
That means the land can be used for a landfill, adult establishment, a mega shopping center, or any one of dozens of other kinds of businesses.
               
Boyer will tell the Gastonia City Council to reject the request Tuesday night.
 
"This will eventually strangle the neighborhood if it’s allowed to happen.  Please do not let this happen.  Please,” she said.
               
Neighbors in the Gardner Park Community nearby will join her.
               
They are worried about traffic pouring onto their streets.
 
“We have approximately 90 signatures from residents in these neighborhoods who are opposed to this,” said neighbor Glenn Silverman.
               
The real estate broker said the lot is a block away from the fastest growing commercial development in Gastonia, with new shops opening regularly along Franklin Boulevard.
               
He said a change in zoning will just expand what's already happening in the area.
 
"We thought this was just a very common sense move,” broker Robert Clay said.
               
He said the planning commission approved his request by a 6-1 vote.
               
There will be trees between the lot and the Gardner Park Community.
 
"I understand the neighborhood.  I understand their concerns,” Clay said.
 
Clay said this is valuable property that would be most appealing to upscale business owners.  The council vote may not decide the future for the property. The loser in this fight can still appeal in court.
 
Tuesday’s meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Gaston County courthouse.