Plan for apartments meets opposition from Gastonia neighbors

·2 min read
Mark Davis, Bob Ferguson, Kate Hamad and Lisa Dale together on the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.
Mark Davis, Bob Ferguson, Kate Hamad and Lisa Dale together on the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.

A Gastonia developer's plans to build 194-unit apartment complex in southeast Gastonia has met with some resistance from neighboring homeowners.

Southwood Realty plans to present its plans to build the apartments near the Planters Ridge neighborhood off Robinwood and Kendrick roads at a Feb. 3 Gastonia Planning Commission meeting. Southwood Realty needs the city to rezone the 17 acres of property from single-family/commercial use to residential use before moving forward with the project.

Some of the residents living in Planters Ridge don't want the rental property built in their neighborhood of mostly brick homes.

"It becomes unfair when we are investing into our homes and the zoning doesn't remain consistent," said Chicago-native Kate Hamad who moved to Planters Ridge in March 2020.

Lisa Dale and Kate Hamad talk about a possible future on the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.
Lisa Dale and Kate Hamad talk about a possible future on the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.

The one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments would sit on 17 acres of land adjacent to the neighborhood. The apartments would include more than 300 parking spaces, including some garages, as well as a dog park, and fence around the development.

Southwood Realty did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.

Traffic jam headaches? Gaston leaders again talking about new road to Charlotte

Some homeowners in Planters Ridge worry the apartments would increase traffic in their neighborhood and hurt property values by adding rental property near their homes.

“For most people, your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make so changing the rezoning after we’ve invested is the biggest issue,” said Hamad.

Bob Ferguson looks over a drawing of what may be the future of the wooded area behind Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way.
Bob Ferguson looks over a drawing of what may be the future of the wooded area behind Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way.

Moving multi-family housing so close to the neighborhood worries some of those living in Planters Ridge, Hamad said.

Bob Ferguson, who moved to Planters Ridge in 1995, has concerns about the "consistency" of the project.

"This area has been zoned for commercial use and now things are changing where we have invested into our homes," said Ferguson. "It would bring too many people in too small of a space."

Bob Ferguson shows a property marker on the tree line near the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.
Bob Ferguson shows a property marker on the tree line near the back deck of Kate Hamad’s home on Candlewick Way near where apartments may be built.

The multi-family housing could also create extra noise in the usually quiet neighborhood of homes, Ferguson said.

Southwood Realty has already met with residents of Planters Ridge to discuss the project.

At the meeting, homeowners told the developers they were concerned that height of the two-story apartments would allow people to look into their homes.

The project would be higher to accommodate for garages and two-story apartments, according to the residents who attended the community meeting.

The meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, and streamed virtually online due to COVID-19.

Reach Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or jwinchester@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Gastonia residents oppose rezoning in their neighborhood for apartment

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting