Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Plans for more than 300 apartments on Gordon Road submitted to county

Long approved, the impact of the development on traffic was ignored last fall when another 400 apartments were approved in an adjacent lot

Development is underway across the street from where the planned apartment complex is on Gordon Road (Port City Daily photo/Michael Praats)
Development is underway across the street from where the planned apartment complex is on Gordon Road (Port City Daily photo/Michael Praats)

WILMINGTON—Plans have been submitted for a major apartment complex on Gordon Road and are currently under review by New Hanover County. The development, known as Smith Creek Apartments, is located at 4645 Gordon Road, adjacent to I-40.

It is not the first high-density development in the area for which plans were submitted to New Hanover County. In September of last year, County Commissioners voted to approve more than 400 new residential units just across the street on Gordon Road. They did so against the recommendation of county planning staff.

Read more: County commissioners approve 400-plus residential units off Gordon Road despite opposition by planners

At the time of the approval of The Landing at Lewis Creek, the county was already aware of the plans for Smith Creek Apartments and preliminary plans were already accepted.

However, since the development on the apartments had not started at the time of the hearing for The Landing at Lewis Creek, traffic impacts due to the apartments were not taken into consideration.

The intersection at Blount Road and Gordon Road already has a level of service of F (Port City Daily photo/Michael Praats)
The intersection at Blount Road and Gordon Road already has a level of service of F (Port City Daily photo/Michael Praats)

Despite knowing Smith Creek Apartments would add more cars on the already heavily burdened Gordon Road, County Commission Chairman Woody White and Commissioners Pat Kusek and Skip Watkins all voted to approve the development.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation also failed to require the traffic impact analysis for The Landing a Lewis Creek take the future traffic from the apartment complex into account.

Even without the traffic from Smith Creek Apartments, the traffic impact analysis for The Landing at Lewis Creek showed the level of service for Gordon Road and Blount Drive as an F.

It is only expected to get worse.

Despite the level of service on Gordon Road getting worse due to development, commissioners approved a 400 + unit residential development despite resistance from county staff (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County)
Despite the level of service on Gordon Road getting worse due to development, commissioners approved a 400 + unit residential development despite resistance from county staff (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy New Hanover County)

Not all of the commissioners voted in favor of the development; Jonathan Barfield and Rob Zapple both voted against allowing the development.

During the meeting in September Barfield said, “Although what their presentation was showing that there’s no real traffic impact we know different. We know that we approved a project with 328 units … being forced to block that out of our mind I think would not be the right thing to do and just assume based on someone’s presentation on what DOT is not counting that everything will be fine, when we know that it won’t be.”

Plans for Smith Creek Apartments show the development offering 318 units in 13 3-story buildings. The majority of the units will be two-bedroom; Smith Creek Apartments will offer a total of 552 bedrooms.

On the map: Smith Creek Apartments

[mappress mapid=”1177″]

Smith Creek Apartments_site Plan by Michael James on Scribd


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