A crowd at last night's Wilmington City Council meeting wore red, but it had nothing to do with minor league baseball. County residents living near Ogden Park showed up to oppose what they claim will irritate a complicated community traffic issue. WHQR's Sara Wood reports while the council voted to enter into an agreement for a baseball stadium, it was Gordon Road that had this crowd fired up.
The council voted 6 -1 to annex and zone almost 10 acres on Gordon Acres Drive and Gordon Road into the city of Wilmington, where developers hope to build an 84-unit townhouse complex. And those wearing red? Not happy about it. James Rabon has lived in the area for 30 years. He remembers taking walks with no traffic in sight. He says today, he and his neighbors navigate complicated driving maneuvers just to get out to Gordon Road. Rabon says council lent a bigger ear to developers.
“If you live within three miles of the Wilmington city limits, you're next. Take heed. This is just the start of it. By what they did tonight, this is going to open the door for anybody that's having problems developing the piece of property that they want that they can just ask to be annexed and all of a sudden we start all over again as we've seen tonight.”
Tom Johnson, an attorney representing Gordon Road Development Partners, the developers currently building Camden Forest and soon the new townhouses, says this is a case of private money being spent to benefit the public. He says plans for the new development include extending the center turn lane on Gordon Road as well as sewer and water lines. Councilman Kevin O'Grady was the only dissenting vote. He says this area of Gordon Road is a county problem, and he doesn't want it in the city.