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City Council denies rezoning for Pine Valley public housing

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council voted against the proposed rezoning to build Section 8 senior living housing in the Pine Valley neighborhood. Though they voted 4-2, city council needed a supermajority of five votes to approve the rezoning because of protest petitions.

The Wilmington Housing Authority wanted to build public housing off John Barry Drive and 17th Street. Many members of the public voiced their opinions at the meeting Tuesday.

Folks lined the walls of the city council chambers, even spilling onto the balcony, and many of them waited hours to talk about the proposed public housing.

Those against it say that the public housing could bring safety issues as well as hurt the value of their homes. Those for the property say that simply is not true.

The Wilmington Housing Authority says this facility is greatly needed. CEO Michael Krause says through researching several other properties throughout the state, he believes the housing would have no negative effect to the property values in Pine Valley.

“Nearly 4,400 seniors already in that neighborhood, living there who are income eligible,” Krause said. “And when I say income eligible, i mean they would be eligible to live at this property at or between 30 and 60 percent or the area median income.”

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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public housing

Why don't they build them in the Landfall/Mayfaire area? I am sure the old folks would love being so close to shopping and the beach.Their families would love it too.I am sure they would visit often.

I understand

I'm a former resident of a Pine Valley area condo complex. I lived there for 8 years. Initially, there were no section 8 tenants allowed. It was a nice mixed community of retirees, families, and college students. Over the years, people moved out and owners, eager to rent their properties, started allowing section 8 tenants. As a result, visits by the police were much more frequent. Cars with booming bass, drugs (frequent smell of marijuana), non-residents standing around the properties looking shady, and kids running amuck and leaving all manner of trash and toys throughout the development were commonplace. I am not embellishing or exaggerating, nor I am being racist- simply matter of fact. From the time the section 8 residents moved in to the time I moved out, the neighborhood went from good to ghetto. This is not an uncommon scenario. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, and I even had a friend who at one point in her life was a section 8 tenant who was responsible and considerate of her neighbors. Unfortunately, there were no exceptions where I lived.

Really Margaret?

At one point in last night's council meeting, Councilwoman Haynes said, regarding the planning committee's previous unanimous rejection against the zoning, "well, they are volunteers, and not really planning experts." Kind of an ironic statement, coming from you Ms. Haynes! Kind of a groin-kick to those who give their time to that committee. At least you admitted to not being one yourself.

Still, some of those non-planning experts are probably more qualified than you to make that assessment, based on what I witnessed at both of those meetings, and their educational/professional background.

The strongest argument (which was not which side believes in Jesus the most) was the one of safety. Low income, elderly residents do not own cars or drive, public transportation is not really available or convenient, and with exception of access to the Food Lion, NOBODY is walking or crossing S. College or S. 17th Steet on foot. You would be taking your life into your own hands. Those folks would have been stranded on an island in that location.

I am not a Pine Valley resident, but I took an active interest in this issue process. I agree it is a piece of property property in transition...but we also shouldn't be bailing out the wealthy land-owning family with more tax dollars based on the mediocrity of their property location. There are a number of behind-the-curtain items that I don't believe were disclosed. (It's that whole transparency thing, again.)

There are other pieces of property. Why doesn't the WHA just buy an already-built apartment complex located close to the amenities they need? I know of several that would fit the bill, and save the cost of new construction. Based on the occupancy rates, the owners would probably be eager to do business. There may be a shortage of affordable PUBLIC housing, but building new is not the only option.

Woebegone

Regardless of where one stands on the substantive issue, the lines seem to fall alone both socioeconomic and racial lines. We have many older people, of low socioeconomic stature, a large percentage who are minority, that need a place to live. Where should we build housing for them? If this is any indication of the course of things, it will be built in a poorer neighborhood, where the residents don't have the wherewithal or time to organize. This will likely sustain the status quo of racial/economic segregation.

Welcome to real life

It's got nothing to do with race and everything to do with economic class. You do NOT put public housing adjacent to middle class or upper class neighborhoods. It's fairly simple:

Racial segregation = bad

Economic segregation = reality

I couldn't care less what color my neighbor is, as long as he or she got to my neighborhood through individual effort, and didn't receive a handout courtesy of my tax dollars. Because if my neighbor didn't endure the same difficulties and hard work to get to my neighborhod, my neighbor is not going to appreciate it.

Where should these folks go? As I said earlier, there is plenty of room available within the city and close to existing public housing. If they don't have the wherewithal or time to organize, consider it a handicap of living in poverty.

We DESERVE nothing in life. We are entitled to what we EARN.

Does that mean?

Does that mean that those who have worked hard to build up their communities, who take pride in their homes, should be dumped on? In what sort of community do you live M291? Would YOU like this housing smack dab in the middle of YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? I, for one, am tired of your type of attitude. People work hard all of their life to accomplish something and then someone like you comes along and tells them they should share with the less fortunate and bring themselves down to that level and live in the pig sty that this will soon create. Keep your sanctimonious comments to yourself.

Across the Street

I actually live somewhere between 1/4 and 1 mile from the site in controversy. With all the advocacy for those in the neighborhood; espousing their "hard work" and "accomplishments" I think you've simply not addressed my concerns. I understand that no one wants to lose value in their property. But "WHERE" exactly, not generally, should this be built?

What I'm hearing is the standard, not in my backyard arguments. However we can't run from these problems forever. There simply isn't enough space in Wilmington to keep running, it has to be built next to something. Second, the vast majority of people in Pine Valley didn't lift themselves out of poverty, myself include. Thus the argument that we escaped poverty, and thus know what we escaped from, is not factually accurate. Many of our ancestors came from poverty, we have the advantages they provided, and many of us take them for granted, myself included from time to time.

Regardless of the motivation, this policy continue the Status Quo, racial and economic segregation. Doing nothing hasn't worked in the last 40 years, and I suspect it will continue to do just that, NOTHING. If we do something, it may involve pain, hardship and certainly chance, but the result can be a better place to live for everyone, or it could be a huge failure, but to do nothing simply leaves the problem for our children, which I see as a selfish approach to the issue.

I'm certainly not advocating for this particular project, because I don't know enough about it, rather I'm simply advocating for the idea that we have to actively confront racial and economic segregation which has resulted in a large segment of this city feeling disenfranchised and under utilized. To forget the past dooms us to repeat it!

does that mean

you are better than those than those less fortune than yourself.Does in mean that just because some one is not were you are they live in a pig sty.Or does it mean you have something against the elderly????

What it means is....

Dear Tweety:
What it means is I'm tired of going into a neighborhood, getting settled and then the neighborhood being trashed because the "movers and shakers" want to be politically correct and mix up socio economic groups so that they appear liberal and get re-elected. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, property values are plumeting. And, if I work hard to have what I have, YES I am better than those less fortunate, if they are being lazy and living off of me. Something against the elderly? On the contrary. My goal is self-presevation and I would like to add that I live in the real world.

Would the station mind

Would the station mind providing who voted in favor of the rezoning and who voted against? Thanks so much.

Voting For: Laura

Voting For:

Laura Padgett
Kevin O'Grady
Margaret Haynes
Earl Sheridan

Voting Against:
Bill Saffo
Neil Anderston

Abstaining for personal reasons:
Charlie Rivenbark

sp

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

I will vote them out of office!

THANK YOU for listing the people who voted to rezone Pine Valley. I will vote them out of office. I will vote against Laura Padgett, Kevin O'Grady, Margaret Haynes, and Earl Sheridan.

Next election

DON'T RE-ELECT ANYBODY! Only new people elected to office and those not having to run this year get voted out when their terms come up.

John D Barry property

I see WWAY left out who voted for and who voted against this project. Constituents line the walls and council folds like a cheap suit. Hurry and move this somewhere out in the new annexed area of Monkey Junction and this can become part of "new city services" then when that new addition is overturned the council will no longer have to worry about it. I would like to see the votes posted here and the explanations of council members decisions on how they voted. There should be no favoritism. Come on council. Explain. Not everyone can make it to the meetings. Not everyone can see on TV. Fill in the missing pieces from this article.

council meeting

You can watch the meeting on the city's website & it shows how everyone voted.