Summerfield farmer and developer David Couch has asked that a large swath of property he wants to use for a mixed use residential development be de-annexed from the town due to disagreements over the density that should be allowed on the land.
NC state Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) said this week that he’s not sure how he feels about the matter and he give a simple answer why: Nothing firm has taken shape, and he also has yet to hear all arguments from both sides.
“There’s not really a proposal yet – so I don’t know what it’s going to look like,” Hardister said.
Much of the battle between Couch and the Summerfield Town Council in the past year have centered on the development and the number of apartments that could be built on the land.
When Couch decided to go to the state legislature and have his land de-annexed from the town, the Summerfield Town Council called an emergency council meeting on Saturday, March 4 to “discuss a pressing State legislative matter that could have a significant impact on the town.” At that meeting, Summerfield Mayor Tim Sessoms encouraged Summerfield residents to contact state legislators including Hardister and tell them this move would damage Summerfield. State House District 59 which Hardister represents does not include Summerfield which is in District 57 represented by state Rep. Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford). However, since the Republicans have a large majority in the state House, it makes sense to contact Republican representatives. Hardister is also the House Majority Whip.
Hardister’s voice mailbox stayed full this week – though he said he hadn’t been overwhelmed with calls or emails yet from Summerfield residents. He said he does know that the General Assembly sees some de-annexations from time to time and he is now looking into de-annexations of the past.
“Currently, there’s not a bill on the table,” he said regarding Summerfield. “It will be easier to talk about when there is.”