Tuesday, June 25, 2024

County estimates thousands more trips could be added to Carolina Beach Road per undeveloped land

Carolina Beach Road was the subject of a recent New Hanover County staff traffic report. (Port City Daily/file photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Up to 4,000 daily trips could be added to Carolina Beach Road, the main corridor through the southern end of New Hanover County — just based on undeveloped parcels — according to a recent report from planning staff. 

In March, Planning & Land Use Director Rebekah Roth shared an analysis of vacant parcels — 475 in total — with county commissioners. 

READ MORE: Carolina Beach Road homeowners join forces against nearby multi-family developments

If the parcels were developed under their current zonings — more than 400 are low-density residential — the projects could generate 1,970 daily trips during morning peak hours and 4,012 at evening peak hours.

The calculation assumes 1,468 single-family units could be added along the corridor across nearly 570 acres. For the office and industrial zoning district, where residential uses can also occur, staff projects 12 units could be built. The business districts could generate nearly 600,000 square feet of commercial space. 

These numbers are in addition to the road’s current trips — up to 36,000 daily trips in 2021 — and the several incoming developments, many multi-family, that require commissioners approval of higher-density rezoning. 

According to county development data, there are nearly 30 rezoning and four subdivision applications being fielded currently. One of the top concerns among nearby property owners, who developers must get feedback from before submitting an application, is traffic and infrastructure. 

Some homeowners in the southern part of the county have said they oppose 12 multi-family developments, some in the planning stages and others already approved by commissioners, along the road. 

Homeowners in the Lord’s Creek, Woodlake, and Ocean Forest Lake neighborhoods at the southern end of Myrtle Grove Road banded together in April to oppose a dozen developments, which would bring more than 1,600 units along a 10-mile stretch of Carolina Beach Road.

This includes workforce housing project Starway Village, the 74-unit Palm Grove Apartments, and the 48-townhome Peirson’s Point in Monkey Junction. 

During their community meeting in April, the residents said they sometimes spend upward of 10 minutes to pull out of their neighborhood onto the busy Carolina Beach Road during  their morning commutes. Neighbors chimed in about the many car accidents that occur at the neighborhood entrance’s deceleration lane, along with flower beds, medians and mailboxes that have fallen victim to fast and furious drivers.  

The residents called on county commissioners to slow down approving developments to ensure the infrastructure was there to support the incoming growth. 

Port City Daily reached out to the county commissioners to get their thoughts on the traffic report and its implications on future development; no one responded by press.

Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at brenna@localdailymedia.com.

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