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Homeowners Frustrated with Town's Purchase Plans

12:06 AM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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SUMMERFIELD, N.C. -- Ten families in the Guilford County town of Summerfield are scrambling for a new place to live. They've been told they have only three months to move because the land under their mobile homes is being sold.

The mobile home park sits on a piece of land near highway 220 and Scalesville Road. It's been up for sale for more than a year. The town is in the process of buying it and plans to develop it, possibly for town meetings. They say it's for the better of the community, but people who live there disagree.

Picture by picture, movie by movie, Frances Bean is packing up her life. "They're just like 'bye,' we don't want you hear anymore," said Bean. "We've got better plans for the property."

Last week, the property owner sent her a 90-day notice to vacate the land she's lived on for years. "Like they're kicking out their neighbors, kicking out their citizens of their little town," said Bean.

Not only does she has to leave, she's also leaving her mobile home and the money she invested in it behind. She says it's just too old to make a move.

For years, town officials have been looking for places to build meeting and staff space. "This particular property has been attractive for different reasons to the town," said town Manager Scott Whitaker.

Some residents learned of the purchase in the newspaper. They claim they were kept in the dark, but town leaders say they've been transparent about what they're doing.

"I hope the residents that are on the property realize there's always been a concern for their well-being," said Whitaker.

Frances isn't sure she believes that. She has a place to stay, but she's more concerned about her neighbors. "They should at least offer to help find these people a home to stay because a lot of them are not going to have a place to stay."

Frances says she and her 14-year-old son will likely move to Browns Summit in Rockingham County. In that case, her son will be forced to switch districts before the school year ends.

Once they've completed a property assessment, Summerfield will purchase the 16 acres for $399,000. Definite plans for the lot have not yet been finalized.

The property owner has yet to return our calls.

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