Residents accuse city workers of taking signs opposing the Weddington Green project to their yard

Tensions are rising between Weddington town leaders and residents who are strongly opposed to a proposed new development.

The owners said they called the Union County Sheriff’s Office to investigate after signs opposing the Weddington Green project disappeared from their yards.

“So our thing is we try to keep that small-town feel instead of having the bustle of Charlotte,” resident Jim Bell said.

Hundreds of neighbors said they fought a passionate fight against the proposed development that would bring homes, shops and restaurants to the area along Providence and Weddington roads.

“Right now we have so much traffic on Providence Road. Providence is a nightmare to get our kids to school. If you leave after 7 p.m., you’re in trouble,” said resident Kim Topalian.

ALSO READ: Developer backtracks on proposed project after feedback from Weddington residents

Residents told Channel 9 that signs they had put up in their yards opposing the Weddington Green scheme continued to disappear.

Some owners said they went so far as to place GPS trackers inside the panels after they started disappearing.

Others said they contacted Union County deputies to investigate the missing signs.

Traditionally, it is against the law to remove a political sign from someone’s yard. But in this case, the signs may have violated city ordinances.

The sheriff’s office told Channel 9 the GPS trackers led them to the home of a code enforcement officer in the town of Weddington.

The sheriff’s office also said the city removed the signs because they were improperly placed and violated a City of Weddington ordinance. The placards were then returned to the reporting parties.

ALSO READ: Development debate brings hundreds to rowdy Weddington town meeting

A Town of Weddington administrator said the employee was simply doing his job. In a statement, the administrator said:

“The city employs a person who picks up signs located in the DOT right-of-way to reduce clutter around the city. He has been doing this for over 15 years. It does not remove panels from private properties.

Neighbors told Channel 9 they were considering possible legal action.

The sheriff’s office, however, said the investigation into whether the employee was acting solely within the scope of his responsibility as a local code enforcer is ongoing.

Regarding the Weddington Green project, the city is expected to take a final vote on the development as early as mid-May.

(WATCH BELOW: Developer returns to proposed project after feedback from Weddington residents)

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