Charlotte's growth may reveal hidden cemeteries

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Growth in Charlotte means builders are clearing property for new development, and in some cases that results in finding undiscovered cemeteries.

What's being called hallowed ground near Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church by Charlotte City Council Member Greg Phipps, is a developer's headache.

According to Phipps, 19 final resting places of former slaves were discovered, and that number is expected to grow.

"There could more, and that's what I'm trying to determine based on the comments from the community," he said.

Jim Garges, head of the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department, says a new fence is a solution.

"You want to bring specialists in. You want to use ground penetrating radar," Garges said. "You have a social and a moral obligation to do your best to protect these grave sites."

Some council members like Patsy Kinsey support the idea of having a new policy in place to protect the resting places of the deceased.

"We need to do it here at the local level," Kinsey said.

Phipps agrees.

"The chances that we're going to be encountering this more frequently is high," Phipps said, "so we should have a comprehensive plan of action."

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