CAROLINA BEACH — In January, The Town of Carolina Beach’s Town Council voted in favor of approving a conditional use permit to allow for the razing, and subsequent redevelopment of the Federal Point Shopping Center. But now the developers of neighboring property, which was to be the new home of a Harris Teeter grocery store are challenging the validity of that permit in court.
Jubilee Carolina LLC, the petitioner has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari from the General Court of Justice Superior Court in New Hanover County.
Jubilee has named the Town of Carolina Beach, Carolina Beach Development Company 1 LLC, and Wilmington Holding Corporation as the respondents in the case.
What is the problem?
In January when Town Council approved the CUP, members from both Harris Teeter’s developer, and Carolina Beach Development Company spoke during the quasi-judicial hearing. One of the concerns from representatives of Harris Teeter was the lack of inter-connectivity between the two future stores.
According to the petition, the site plan that was approved for the new shopping center was inconsistent with the already approved site plan for Harris Teeter.
Gordon Kolb Jr. of GHK Development was adamant that the unnamed grocery store planned for the new development would not move forward with the project if the town forced inter-connectivity between the stores.
Kolb has been in touch with members of town staff as well as residents who have presented questions and concerns with a timeline for the project.
“I explained to the neighbor that Harris Teeter has filed an appealed against the Towns CUP ruling and we need to get that resolved before we can move forward. That is why I don’t have an accurate timeline yet. I referred back to my presentation to the council where I stated that we can’t move forward if we have to give cross access to HT. I was very clear about that,” Kolb wrote in an email to town staff.
Even though Harris Teeter has had over a decade of inactivity, during the January council meeting attorney Michael Lee, representing Harris Teeter for the Lee Law Firm, said the company was planning to move forward this year. But, he said, if the town approved the new center without inter-connectivity, it would harm the future of Harris Teeter.
“Harris Teeter has had 12 years to do something on their site and now they are trying to stop another grocery store from wanting to enter Carolina Beach now. That doesn’t seem fair to the town, citizens or our client,” Kolb said.
The Facts according to the petitioner
- According to the appeal, Jubilee received a conditional use permit to construct the Harris Teeter store, Aug. 11, 2015 after a public hearing
- On Feb. 5, 2017 Jubilee applied for a revised conditional use permit
- Jubilee possesses a contractual right to construct and use a common access on the Wilmington Holding Corporation property
- On April 11, 2017 the town approved a proposed site plan and a new conditional use permit
- The site plan for the Wilmington Holding Corporation property was inconsistent with the site plan approved for Jubilee’s previously approved permit
Jubilee is asking the court review the challenged permit. It also claims the Town of Carolina Beach has erred in issuing the permit to Carolina Beach Development Company 1 LLC.
Jubilee is also requesting the court issue the writ of certiorari — essentially asking the court to review the town’s decision. Upon reviewing the permit, Harris Teeter requests the court send the issue back to Town Council with instructions to revoke the challenged permit.
If revoking the permit is not accomplished, Jubilee is requesting the court order the town to re-issue of the permit only if it requires inter-connectivity with the adjoining property.