CRAVEN COUNTY -

Residents of New Bern's Jones Lake Subdivision said they can't go near the area's crown jewel, after a neighborhood across the lake put up "no trespassing" signs on the waterfront.

"Those people want to keep us away because we live in double-wides, and they live in expensive homes," Jones Lake resident Scott Felts said. "They have no legal right to keep us from using the water in our own backyards."

Jones Lake sits in the middle of two neighborhoods, the Jones Lake Subdivision and the Lakes at Antioch. According to documents filed with the Craven County Register of Deeds, the original owners of the lake provided waterfront access licenses to all Jones Lake homeowners.

The license agreement says access was granted to future landowners and "persons who have already purchased lots in Jones Lake Subdivision." Now, barred residents are preparing to take legal action.

"I was furious when someone kicked me off the lake," Felts said. "I bought my house with the intention of being able to take my son down to go fishing. I've never caused any problems for the Lakes at Antioch."

Calls to the Lakes at Antioch Homeowner's Association and the neighborhood's developer, LRH Development, were not returned. Residents of Jones Lake Subdivision fear if they banned from the lake, their property values could drop as much as $20,000.

"They might be Goliath, but I'm sure as heck gonna be their David," Felts said. "We just want the lake open to everyone like it used to be."