Neighbors say downtown Wilmington construction project is taking over their property

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A construction project in a downtown Wilmington neighborhood is underway, but some neighbors are not so happy.

Construction is well underway between homes on Campbell Street to create an easement for homeowners and the residents of the new complex behind them.

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Neighbors in one home on Campbell Street are determined to protect the land they say is theirs, so determined that they set up out back to make sure nobody takes a bulldozer to it.

The expression, “not in my backyard” really hits home for Chance Harrison and his wife Christine.

The couple knew their neighborhood on Campbell Street in downtown Wilmington was growing, but when they found out that it might threaten the land behind their home, they got concerned.



“It’s just frustrating,” Harrison said.

Things came to a head last week when heavy equipment started tearing up pavement just off their backyard. Christine ran out and stood in front of the bulldozer, stopping it.

Ever since, the family has been taking turns sitting out on the prized property to make sure it stays as is.

It’s just the latest plot twist in this story.

“We have tried amicably over the past eight or nine months to try to make a resolution that works best for both parties, but to this day, that hasn’t happened unfortunately,” Harrison said.

It’s all about an “easement” to access the new neighborhood. Harrison says deeds show it’s their property, but the developer, who also built Harrison’s home, says it’s not that simple.

Dave Spetrino says the easement was planned long ago just for this purpose, and he’s trying do what he can to improve the whole neighborhood.

As for Chance and Christine, they’re all for development, just not at the expense of their backyard.

“The hope around is that he can just work around us somehow and let us go about our business of enjoying our property, which is what we’ve always intended to,” he said. “And enjoying the downtown Wilmington area.”

Spetrino says he’s sending a landscaper out to talk to Harrison and his wife.

Both sides agree that they hope they can find a way to work things out so everyone can be happy.