BLADENBORO, NC (WWAY) -- Monday night, some folks in Bladenboro lost their fight to keep out a trailer park. In a four-to-two vote, the town council voted to rezone some controversial property to residential. The rezoning opens the door for the owner to start a trailer park if he chooses.
It's an issue that won't go away. Earlier Monday, residents said rezoning in Bladen County would lead to a new trailer park they don't want in their neighborhood. But will neighbors be successful as they try to stop a trailer park from rolling in?
Residents in the Pine Ridge community of Bladenboro are worried if the zoning for the eight acres is changed from industrial to residential it could bring in some neighbors they don't want to see.
"When you get a huge rental property, you've got people coming from all over, and the crime rate usually goes up," said Debra Gibson, one of dozens of worried Pine Ridge resident.
Town Council will consider rezoning the land Monday night form industrial to residential. Gibson and her neighbors say the land owner plans to turn the eight acres into a trailer park, which they say does not fit the layout of the homes around the property.
"The intent of the development is completely different," Steve Martin, another neighbor, said. We have ownership at Pine Ridge, people own their own homes, they own their own property. This is going to be owned by a development company, and that's not the same thing."
Residents are also worried about trailers that would be put on the land. Gibson says the trailers are owned by Lee Guy, who also owns the property. She points out that the homes are FEMA trailers, which she thinks may be contaminated with formaldehyde. You may remember the controversy about the chemical in the trailers used by FEMA for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Town council discussed the rezoning last month, but did not vote because no one seconded the motion. The town manager says he thinks this time around there will be a vote.
As for the land owner, we ran into him today. We asked Guy if he could answer a few questions. He denied our request saying he'll talk after town council votes.
With so much on the line for both sides, it all comes down to town council. Residents say all they can hope for is that the rezoning request is denied and the land is put to good use. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. We'll let you know what happens tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 11.