SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — A proposed private development in Summerfield which would tie into Greensboro's water system took a step forward Tuesday.
Summerfield town council members voted 4-1 to set up a meeting with Greensboro and Guilford county leaders about the plan.
The plan is getting a lot of attention from residents because it proposes a shared tax district between Summerfield, Greensboro and Guilford County to pay for the cost of bringing water and sewer lines to the town.
Summerfield Farms owner David Couch presented his concept for Summerfield Farms Village to town council members in September.
He said the plan would put homes on hundreds of acres in Summerfield over the next 25 years. The problem is Summerfield doesn't have the water and sewer infrastructure for that kind of development.
Instead, he would like to see Greensboro extend their lines to Summerfield. He said his plan would pay back the cost of building those lines by raising taxes on residents who move into Summerfield Farms Village.
"It does not require raising taxes in Greensboro," Couch said, "What it does require is the responsibility on my part to put the tax base here which finances the cost of the utilities."
Couch said that the plan would mean a larger tax base for all three governments involved.
"If we should have a failure of septic in this particular area, then it could impact Greensboro's water. So they have a vested interest plus they're gonna end up making money off selling water," said Summerfield Mayor B.J. Barnes.
Some Summerfield residents are against the proposal.
A Facebook group called Keep Summerfield Rural opposed previous development plans and worries Summerfield Farms Village would make their small town more like a city.
"By no means is this intended to be a high-density development at all," said Couch.
Couch said he isn't sure exactly how many homes he will put on the property but that the price will range from $250,000 to $2 million.
"Nobody in Summerfield is going to pay for water that doesn't want to pay for water," said Barnes.
Couch said only residents in the Summerfield Farms Village tax district would see higher taxes. Other town residents would not have to link into the water and sewer lines.
Town leaders said a potential vote to approve the proposal is still months away and they are planning public comment meetings before making a decision.