Sign at center of property dispute in Fayetteville

August 10, 2012 2:07:51 PM PDT
A Fayetteville business said the city is unfairly taking its property to make way for a new bus depot. So, the business put up a sign in protest.

However, city leaders said the property is needed to improve the city's bus service and the sign has to come down.  

The sign reads "If Obama helped us build our business, why is he letting the City of Fayetteville take our business."

Jackie Pfendler and her husband own JP Electric on Robeson Street. She could face a $500 fine very time inspectors come out to tell her to take it down. She is upset because the city plans to use the eminent domain law to take her property.

"I think what they're doing was not put here to take one business for another," said Pfendler. "And that's exactly what they're doing. They're taking our office to put another office here. So, I plan on fighting them."

"We need about half their site just to be able to circulate the buses," said Fayetteville Transit Director Randy Hume. "So, what is there site is not just for what will be the future office or retail.  It also, about half of it to cover where our buses need to drive, is where people are going to stand to catch buses."

The city recently received an $8 million federal grant to build a new transportation hub.  The city surveyed five other sites but chose the location on Robeson Street which is home to JP Electric.

The temporary bus depot is located on Old Wilmington Road and Russell Street. The big question some people have is why the new bus depot can't be located in the same place.

"It's really not a very good location for us," said Hume. "Most of our service is spanned out to the west and to the north and so being over in a strategic location right at the end of Bragg Boulevard is just a great location."

JP Electric is not buying that answer and plan to fight to stay where they are.

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