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Commissioners vote to rezone historical Seabreeze community


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Seabreeze residents got some upsetting news tonight as New Hanover County Commissioners approved a rezoning request.

The Seabreeze community has long been a historical part of our area, serving as a resort for many black families coming to spend time by the shore. In June, the New Hanover County Planning Board approved a request to rezone about 2.5 acres of the area from a highway business classification to residential.

The change allows for four single-family homes to be built on the land. Monday night commissioners agreed to move forward with the rezoning, voting 4 to 1 in favor of it.

“We didn't prevail today, but there's still some ongoing legal issues and we'll take a hard look at whether we'll be able to pursue those and go from there and see what we can do to preserve the history of Seabreeze,” says Courtland Simmons, who has lived in the community on and off for three decades.

Simmons helped organize a petition against the rezoning that was given to commissioners during the meeting. He says organizers gathered about 800 signatures.

Commissioner Jonathan Barfield was the only one to not vote in favor of the rezoning.

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