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Licking County homeowners worried about lifestyle, property value with Intel project

Homeowners fear home values will go down once construction begins.

LICKING COUNTY, Ohio — Homeowners who live on Aruba Avenue in Licking County call their subdivision "The Bermuda Rectangle" because it's an island surrounded by farmland soon to be transformed into Intel's $20 billion semiconductor plant

Many people are worried that their homes they bought 20 years ago will fall in value once Intel and its suppliers begin construction on the farmland that's protected their homes from encroaching development. 

"We are losing our lifestyle," Connie McVay said.

"We moved out here because it's a country setting, we had cows and corn or neighbors," Paul Weinberger said.

There are 33 homes in the subdivision encompassing about 100 acres. 

"Now we will be surrounded by what I call a concrete jungle," Dave Freshly said.

Those who live here say they are not against Intel coming to Ohio. 

"I'm excited for what it's going to do for Ohio and for our country. I'm just not excited about being the Bermuda triangle in the middle of all of it," Jennifer Jennings said.

The farmland that surrounds the neighborhood was unanimously approved by the New Albany Planning Commission to be rezoned from agriculture into a TMD or technology manufacturing district. 

New Albany has promised residents a "minimum 100-foot building setback from any resident. If a building will exceed 65 feet in height, the minimum required setback is increased to 300 feet. The city is adding landscaped mounds with a mixture of trees to provide an opacity of 75%."

"It's not going to be a barrier to sound and it's not going to be a barrier to light," Freshly said.

"All of the reasons we moved out here have been stripped away," McVay said.

Homeowners want to know why Intel isn't buying their homes or tearing down others as they did elsewhere around the project site. 

10TV reached out to Intel for a response but did not hear back. 

These homeowners, many of whom have lived here for more than two decades, fear once Intel begins construction their homes will lose value. 

The city of New Albany responded by saying, "We don't believe that the project will negatively impact nearby property values. The experience at other Intel sites indicates responsible growth that actually benefits property values." 

"With our home size and our acreage, we would have to go a half an hour out and pay a million dollars you can't get what we have here," McVay said.

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