Chapel Hill family with health problems has home targeted for light rail facility

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCN) — A Chapel Hill family is frustrated that they might lose their home to make way for a light rail maintenance facility  for the proposed rail line from Durham to Orange County.


“Here you go.. Anyone else want raisins ?….” said Marsha Rea as she is feeding her goats.

Rea keeps goats, chickens and ducks on an acre and a half of land— land that is right on the middle of a Chapel Hill site that GoTriangle wants.

“We are right here smack dab in the middle,” Rea said.  A sign on their property says it is “Ground Zero” for the light rail project.

Sitting right by Farrington Road — the site would house a railroad operations maintenance facility..

“It was their choice spot,” Rae said.

Their home would have to go.. And they’d be relocated.

“Its difficult at this time in our life..  My husband has a brain tumor and multiple health problems … I’ve got breast cancer and a son that’s full care and profoundly retarded,” Rae told WNCN.

Rae’s husband is a veteran Marine with a 20 year career with service that dates back to Vietnam.

Part of the frustration the family has is finding enough land to house their livestock like goats as well as their chickens and ducks.

“We’ve written many, many letters and tried to contact them to get some kind of feedback and get nothing,” Rae said, exasperated.

So Marsha became an activist festooning her home and property with anti-rail signs

“I love this house.. I love my neighbors,” she said.

And she says trying to find a new place to live will negatively impact her family’s health.

“The time looking will take away of the care of my son and husband,” Rae said.

Tuesday a spokesperson for GoTriangle said “the agency will work closely with impacted property owners over the next few years” because the Farrington Road site is the best of five that were considered.

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