Local

No development for historically Black Huntersville community; county makes plan for park

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Residents in a historically Black neighborhood in Huntersville are celebrating a big win.

Mecklenburg County says it’s purchasing the Valea Village property there and plans to use that land for a park and open space.

Earlier this year, residents of the Pottstown neighborhood pleaded to the county for help. They were worried a planned home development would lead to gentrification and they would slowly be pushed out.

But news of the recreational area means residents don’t have to be concerned about potential development.

Residents in Huntersville community worried about potential development

Pottstown community leaders said gentrification and plans to build dozens of new homes would have a dire impact on the area.

“My community is suffering from planned gentrification,” resident Varona Wynn said.

An early site plan of the proposed Valea Village project showed more than two dozen single-family homes. Pottstown residents and the NAACP held a press conference and attended a county commission meeting in April calling on leaders to help protect their homes.

They were worried their tax bills might rise and they would be slowly pushed out of the historic neighborhood.

“Are we going to allow another Brooklyn Village?” NAACP President Corine Mack said.

The Pottstown neighborhood has been around since 1909. It was home to many formerly enslaved people.

As the county crafted the budget, the community hoped for an investment to honor the neighborhood’s past and to protect its future.

“Right now, everyone here feels a level of harm and additional trauma,” Mack said. “How do we stop that? We stop that by stopping this development that is going to do serious harm to this community.”

(Watch the video below: Historically Black neighborhood in Huntersville fighting back against gentrification)