Homeowners fight to keep Publix out of Chatham County neighborhood
Posted June 15
Chatham County, N.C. — Chatham County officials are prepared to get pushback at a public hearing Monday night.
A Charlotte-based developer, Morgan Property Group, plans to build a retail center on 27 acres of land between a neighborhood and U.S. 15-501, but neighbors on Polks Landing Road are not happy.
The anchor tenant is expected to be a Publix grocery store.
"The peacefulness, the quietness, and all that brings the wildlife will be gone," said Monica Fleming. "We love trees."
In its application, Morgan Property Group says "the need for goods and services" is growing as more neighborhoods mushroom along U.S. 15-501, a major artery between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro.
"Part of our concern is we've already got a Harris Teeter, a Lowe's Foods, a Walmart - all within a very short distance, under a mile," said Darren Hunicutt.
It says the site was chosen because of its ideal location on the southbound, or the "going-home," side of the highway.
Last year, protests from Pinehurst prompted developers to include a conservation easement in plans for a store in neighboring Southern Pines. The concerns of residents in Polks Landing are familiar ones- traffic and treeless views.
"Who is going to want to buy a house looking at a loading dock and garbage cans and a shopping center?," said Nannette Atkinson, who has lived in the area for 10 years.
The developer says it can create buffers. But the neighbors aren't so sure beauty and the big box can live in harmony.