Monday, June 24, 2024

No. 1 Most Read Story of 2022: Raleigh tech CEO plans to build family compound in Topsail

The tech giant Pendo founder went under contract to purchase 140 acres on the southernmost tip of a small Pender County beach town. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — In the fall, the founder of tech giant Pendo went under contract to purchase 140 acres on the southernmost tip of a small Pender County beach town, with the goal to build a family compound on 40 acres.

Todd Olson wants to develop eight single-family dwellings, various garage and maintenance buildings, swimming pools and associated decks and gazebos, a beach access walkway, a sound side cottage and pier, with nine boat lifts on The Point. The land has been revered by locals for its pristine natural environment.

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In 2019 Coastal Federation investigated opportunities for the state to buy it and preserve it, as it’s located within an inlet hazard and Coastal Barrier Resources Act area.

The Town of Topsail Beach also attempted to acquire it for $7.9 million to ensure it remained undisturbed for the public to enjoy. The price tag was too hefty and the deal never went through.

Olson proposed a text amendment to the town’s code of ordinances to include “conditional zoning” over the summer. This would allow certain conditions on proposed projects, enabling more flexibility in future development. The Topsail planning board passed it 4-1 first, with commissioners approving it unanimously thereafter.

The founder has hosted a community meeting with concerned residents, who have decried the development due to worries over increased flooding and negative impacts to wildlife. He told PCD in the fall his next steps include applying for a conditional rezoning with the Topsail planning board.

Catch up on PCD’s reporting below:

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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