Charleston Park is on Old Omen Road, just across the street from UT-Tyler.
Directly behind it is a field which has been purchased by a Houston developer to build an apartment complex for UT Tyler students. For some neighbors, the complex would start just 25 feet from their property lines. And the trees they fell in love with, will be knocked down, and replaced with a parking lot and three story apartment buildings.
Walking through Charleston Park is a lot like stepping back in time. The homes are made to look like those in traditional South Carolina; complete with real wood siding, and white picket fences. The developers have taken care to leave plenty of trees and that's why so many of the neighbors love calling this place home.
But A Houston developer has plans to put a parking lot 25 feet from Glen Sorentino's property line. The 3 story apartments will be looming over his back yard. Glen told us, "It's just too close to our property lines. we're going to lose the tree barriers. it acts as a noise barrier, a privacy shield, it provides beauty and that's what we're trying to preserve here in Charleston Park."
Those living here are not opposed to the development because they know the university is growing, and that housing is in demand. But they're asking for a 50 foot Green Belt to be left, acting as a barrier between their homes, and the apartments. They're asking for support from UT Tyler in dealing with the developer.
Dr. Rodney Mabry, The President Of UT Tyler says, "We certainly support the resident's near this project, in their effort to try and make sure there's some screening, and some ability to separate the project from the housing development itself. and we look forward to using whatever influence we have."
The developer's president, Mike Mcgrath, says his company "'Asset Plus' is in ongoing discussions with Charleston Park to find an acctepable solution to the green belt issue."
He goes on to say "we are optimistic that with everyone's cooperation these issues can be resolved by early next week."
Neighbors say that would be great news, but they're upset with the fact that they were never consulted about the plans to begin with. The company hopes to start construction on the project sometime this summer.
The developer, Asset Plus, also purchased property on Paluxy, and the apartment complex formerly known as Emerald Ridge. They claim they are on track to be the largest landlord in the city.