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Residents petition against public housing in their backyard

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Many Pine Valley residents are up in arms over a possible rezoning vote.

The Wilmington Housing Authority wants to build public housing off John Barry Drive and 17th street. Nearby property owners are not happy and they’re letting city council know it.

“We’ve got a big investment here and we’re hearing a decrease in valuation of 30 percent,” argues Jim Stirling.

He has lived in the Preston Woods neighborhood of Pine Valley for 17 years. The area being discussed for Section eight public housing for older residents is right in his back yard.

“The houses closest by would be affected. If we sell our house and we have to take a hit to sell it because of the property back there, our house because of comparables for the rest of the neighborhood, and ultimately it’s going to affect everything in the neighborhood,” Stirling said.

The Stirlings, along with many of their neighbors, signed a petition against the Wilmington Housing Authority’s rezoning request.

Homeowners aren’t the only ones upset.

“The road that they’re going to put right beside Spring Arbor, my residents walk around the building at all times, so I’m just a little fearful that that’s going to impact their well being,” said Spring Arbor Executive Director, Loretta Thomas.

Wilmington City Council will hear from both sides during a public hearing at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Despite the planning commission denying the ordinance five to 0, council member Kevin O’Grady is not leaning one way or the other.

“I’m trying to keep my wings nice and level, listen to both sides, and then make a decision,” O’Grady said.

We contacted the Wilmington Housing Authority today for their side of the story but they have not called us back.

More: continued here

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