"Not In My Backyard" Battle in Union Co.: Residents Don't Want Proposed Park
WAXHAW, N.C. - The scene from Bob Stack's back yard is picture perfect. He's lived in Walden Pond for 17 years and always knew that something would be built on the 27 acres across the pond in his backyard.
But he says he never imagined the land, which is privately owned and currently zoned for residential use. would be turned into a passive public park. That means no competitive sports fields or big lights will be allowed, just things like walking trails.
At first, Stack says he liked the idea. "But as we started to look at it, we visited parks in Matthews and some here in Union County, we were scared as to what could actually be here,” says Stack.
He is worried that the village of Marvin doesn't have the funds to maintain or secure the property and that the pond itself poses a liability that the village is ill-equipped to handle. Stack says he and other neighbors have voiced those concerns at public hearings.
"As we had the dialogue, there was still nothing on paper and they would commit to nothing as far as enforcement, hours of operation, protecting the pond we own and maintain,” he says.
Interim village administrator Fern Shubert says residents have a lot of misinformation about the park plan, including that it will be bright, noisy and crowded. She told FOX Charlotte "There was and is a definite willingness on the part of council to agree to reasonable constraints."
Stack maintains the 27 acres across the pond, under contract for $1.1 million, are the wrong location for the park. He wants the residential zoning to stay in place so single family homes can be built there.
“There are some other properties available, one of which was offered to the village free of charge, but they're charging forth with this thing because it's easy to spend someone else's money,” says Stack.
Shubert's reply? "If they say there's a better deal, give me something in writing," she says.
Several of the Walden pond residents are so worried about how the park will impact property values, they are thinking about selling their homes. Village council is moving forward with the park plan.