Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In growing area on Highway 17, Brunswick County could deny commercial rezoning

A 1.3-acre parcel located in the flood zone may not be rezoned from residential to commercial in Brunswick County. The parcel is located in between Leland's town limits off Highway 17 near a growing commercial area.

A 1.3-acre parcel in between Leland's town limits is up for rezoning in Brunswick County. The county's staff and planning board are recommending denying the property be rezoned from residential to commercial. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)
A 1.1-acre parcel in between Leland’s town limits is up for rezoning in Brunswick County. The county’s staff and planning board are recommending denying the property be rezoned from residential to commercial. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Just one-third of a mile down Hazels Branch Road from Circle K, a Brunswick County property owner wants their land zoned commercial too.

First pitched in July, the county has twice continued the hearing to rezone 1.1-acres from rural low-density residential to commercial.

RELATED: Voluntary annexations in Leland continue, western town limits could expand

Both Brunswick County’s Planning Board and staff have recommended denial of the rezoning.

Commercialization of Highway 17

Over the past decade, the landscape of Highway 17 near Leland-Belville has drastically changed. Among municipal annexations and development, Highway 17 has grown and become increasingly commercialized.

Much of this activity has been driven by Leland.

In fact, Leland is looking to gain more control in the area where it currently has none. Last month, Leland’s Town Council agreed to pen a formal letter to the county requesting the establishment of an extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) near the town’s southernmost limits on Highway 17.

According to town documents, so far, Brunswick County has expressed no interest in granting Leland ETJ.

The parcel up for rezoning is sandwiched on the south side of Highway 17 between the westernmost edge of Brunswick Forest-owned town limits in and Leland’s satellite limits that include Snee Farm and Stoney Creek. (Another satellite corporate limit also exists on the north side of Highway 17 that surrounds Grayson Park)

Meanwhile, voluntary annexations nearby have just recently been proposed. Three parcels are currently being reviewed by Leland’s town council, totaling 73.3 acres.

Approximate location of Brunswick County rezoning case, in which a property owner is seeking to rezone a 1.3-acre residential parcel to commercial in between Leland's town and satellite corporate limits. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Google Maps)
Approximate location of Brunswick County rezoning case, in which a property owner is seeking to rezone a 1.1-acre residential parcel to commercial in between Leland’s town and satellite corporate limits. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Google Maps)

The largest parcel is directly adjacent to Circle K’s lot, at 57.6 acres. On Jan. 8, the owners of two additional nearby lots totaling 15.7 acres petitioned to be voluntarily annexed into Leland’s town limits.

Brunswick County’s case against rezoning

Brunswick County’s Planning Board voted to deny the rezoning in November, after one continuance in July. Citing concerns about the property being located in the floodplain and a lack of directly contiguous commercial property, the board denied the request.

Council continued the rezoning’s public hearing in December and will hear the case on Tuesday.

At the second Planning Board hearing, a resident of Stoney Creek spoke out against the rezoning. She said her family was concerned with the potential for flooding because of “excessive development in the area.”

Though Circle K is just a few hundred feet away, rezoning the parcel would create “spot zoning.”

This type of zoning means no contiguous parcels are also zoned similarly — a phenomenon that isn’t consistent with Brunswick County’s land use plan. The parcel also isn’t adjacent to an intersection, which could serve as an exception to spot zoning.

Brunswick County Commissioners will hear the rezoning case at their regular meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

Related Articles