"Not In My Backyard:" Neighbors Oppose New Gastonia Development

GASTONIA, Nc. -- A proposed development plan has neighboring residents saying, "not in my backyard."


Gastonia City Council members are planning to vote Tuesday night on a wooded area of land across from Gastonia's busiest shopping center.


Many residents in the area don't want it touched.


"Years ago, when they sold the property on the north side of Franklin Boulevard, they promised not to develop the property on the south side," said Resident Cindy Phillips.


"Keep Franklin Woods" signs line the sides of the road as neighbors in the area surrounding Franklin Boulevard continue the fight to keep a new development out of their backyards.


"Most of the property on the south side is a very environmentally delicate area," Phillips said.  "Most of it is in a 100 year flood plain."


"The neighbors have seen water come up approaching the back of their homes," said Resident Barry Gragg.  "As they build more and more around us, the flooding gets worse."


Flooding, though, not the only hiccup here.  In addition to wildlife, neighbors say congestion is also a concern.


"Anybody who lives here knows you can't get from point A to point B if you're traveling by Franklin Square," said Resident Mary June Rose.  "Especially around holidays or if there's a wreck on 85-- because it's the only path people take."


Neighbors are hoping the area remains untouched.


"I'm afraid it's going to pass," said Phillips.  "But we will fight it as hard as we can.  I hope they do the right thing."


Neighbors say it's not only a community issue, but also a water quality issue.

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