WILMINGTON — A new Dollar General could be built next to Myrtle Grove Middle School on Piner Road, in an area where residents have resisted new developments citing traffic concerns.
The proposed store, if built, would also be located next to a recently approved apartment complex also on Piner Road across from Home Depot.
Last week, property owners proposing the Dollar General next to Myrtle Grove Middle school announced plans to host a community information meeting about the project.
Owners hope to combine two parcels to get 3.28-acres on Piner Road rezoned from office and institutional to a conditional zoning district for the retail store. The 9,100 square foot proposed store would be surrounded by 27 parking spots.
No mention of traffic impact was included in Dollar General’s initial community information meeting announcement, but such information would be required in future applications to rezone the property.
According to Bennet Village’s application, the 700 block of Piner Road across from Home Depot has a current traffic rating of “D.”
Just a few parcels down the road, New Hanover County Commissioners approved a special use permit, 4-1, on 7.6-acres to allow high-density development for a 72-unit apartment complex. Commissioner Rob Zapple voted against the project after outgoing Senator Michael Lee presented it before Commissioners in April.
After several residents spoke out against the project, citing traffic and other concerns, Lee issued one final objection. Chairman Woody White then asked the audience to not “boo.”
In discussing the approval, both White and Zapple called traffic near the middle school “horrible.” When motioning to approve the project, White said he “wished he could vote no,” but without a traffic expert to testify, he said there was no evidence to deny the project.
The affordable housing apartment complex, named Bennett Village, will create less than 100 vehicle trips per day according to its application, thus not triggering a required Traffic Impact Analysis. Still, the county’s Technical Review Committee found the project did not meet zoning requirements and sent it to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for review.
An eastbound left turn lane will be installed on Piner Road to allow access to the complex.
Less than one-quarter mile down the road, Kaylies Cove, a 110 single family home neighborhood across from the middle school, is still being developed. That development required the installation of an eastbound right-turn lane and a westbound left turn lane into the neighborhood.
The community information meeting regarding the proposed Dollar General will be held next week on Dec. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Wilmington Moose Lodge #343.
Update: This article has been updated to remove reference to “Pine Grove Road,” previously misidentified as “Piner Road.”