Land owner and developer David Couch’s presentation to the Summerfield Town Council has been somewhat misconstrued.
The presentation he gave on Sept. 22 included a site plan of his property with something over 400 lots laid out. For anyone watching the video of the meeting, it appeared the site plan is what Couch was proposing to develop on his property, which stretches from Pleasant Ridge Road to I-73. It was particularly confusing because the sound quality of the video made it nearly impossible to understand more than a few words out of each sentence.
The site plan actually represents what Couch could develop under the current zoning, not what his plans are for the property if he can manage to put together a lot of intergovernmental cooperation and bring Greensboro water and sewer to the site.
Couch said that if Greensboro, Summerfield and Guilford County would enter into a multi-jurisdictional inter-local water and sewer agreement, the infrastructure would be financed by a special tax district. The property owners benefitting from the water and sewer would pay for the required infrastructure with a higher property tax rate that wouldn’t affect those not receiving water. Others in the area willing to pay the higher tax rate would have the opportunity to apply for water and sewer service.
Couch said that Summerfield lacked what the Summerfield Comprehensive Plan called “affordable homes” – those in the $250,000 price range.
His plan to bring Greensboro water and sewer to the area would allow him to build homes in that price range while still preserving much of the rural landscape, provide walking trails and other amenities.
It’s a bold plan with a lot of moving parts and parts that have to be moved, and it would represent a major change for Summerfield, which has developed without public water and sewer.
Couch said bringing city water to the site would allow the development to include a senior living center as well as providing affordable homes for younger folks as well as empty-nesters looking to downsize but who want to stay in the area.
The working farm that Couch owns in the middle of the area to be developed would remain a working farm under his plan. Couch said that he couldn’t estimate the number of homes that would be built because that would take a conceptual plan and it wouldn’t make sense to invest in that unless the water issue could be worked out.
Couch said that the Summerfield Comprehensive Plan calls for the types of housing options he would like to build, but the current regulations don’t give a developer the tools needed to provide that type of housing and that his plans are fully compliant with that comprehensive plan.