Board approves controversial development - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Board approves controversial development

After months of meetings, Grahamwood residents took protests from their front lawns to the front row of the city council auditorium, in front of the Land Use Control Board..

"We are not a neighborhood in decline or in need of this infill development," said Grahamwood homeowner Brian Ford.

One by one residents told the members of the board why building 10 new homes on a lot that previously held just one house is a bad idea, expressing concerns about infrastructure, traffic and the character of their neighborhood.

"The development ultimately will eliminate most of the trees on the lot except for a beauty strip," said homeowner Charlotte Fineburg-Buchner.

The developer, Angelo Lagonia, and his representative, told the board those concerns had been addressed.

"We have done everything we can," Lagonia said. "We have met with them. As matter of fact we were going to have another meeting that never happened."

And after twice delaying a decision on the development, the Thursday the board approved the project. Homeowners said they felt like they never had a chance against the developer, because of what they say is a conflict of interest on the board.

"There's too many people on the board who make a living off this type of development," one on-looker said.

"We do have a diverse board and we do have some developers but on a whole I wouldn't think so I think we look at projects individually and I think each of us has our own and that's how we vote," said board chairman James Toler.

Residents said the fight wasn't over.

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