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Debate continues about future of old Seabreeze community

READ MORE: Debate continues about future of old Seabreeze community

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A community once rich with history is now struggling to figure out its future.

One group says it wants the Seabreeze community near Snow's Cut to move forward with new homes. The other says back off and leave Seabreeze the way it is.

In it's heyday, the small waterfront property was alive with community and culture. During segregation, black families from across the country made their way to Wilmington to visit Seabreeze.

"All theses places, there were 25 to 30 buildings here," said William Freeman, who owns property next to Seabreeze.

The businesses and beaches are no longer a draw for the area, but some folks say they want seabreeze to stay the way that it is.

"There are plenty of places around here to build houses," Freeman said. "Just let us have this. This is Seabreeze. It's been here for years. At one time, this was the only place black people have to go to the beach. This was the only place we could go."

Others believe it's time to move forward.

Some of the property for sale is being considered for new homes. The problem is the property is not zoned residential.

"We've come up with a great plan that has zero impact on them," realtor Jim Spicuzza said. "That means they can build up to their lot line. We've taken a setback on our lots to accommodate them, which is the right thing to do."

Now, it's up to the county to decide if the property will be rezoned. The decision, though, is at a standstill with the preservation of history and pushing for progress hanging in the balance.

This issue will come up again with the County Commission at its August 6 meeting.

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