Monday, September 25, 2023

Brunswick Forest’s developer pens letter, opposes Cape Fear Crossing routes through community

Jeff Earp, president of Brunswick Forest, wrote a letter Thursday formally opposing three Cape Fear Crossing routes which cross directly through his master-planned community, where an estimated 25 percent of Leland's population resides.

Brunswick Forest's developer wrote a letter to all of the master-planned community's homeowners to share his opposition to Cape Fear Crossing routes B, Q ,and T. (Port City Daily/File photo)
Brunswick Forest’s developer wrote a letter to all of the master-planned community’s homeowners to share his opposition to Cape Fear Crossing routes B, Q ,and T. (Port City Daily/File photo)

LELAND — Citing the nearly $1 billion of added tax base he’s helped add to Leland, Brunswick Forest’s developer Jeff Earp penned a letter Thursday formally opposing Cape Fear Crossing routes that would cross through his Master-Planned community.

Five of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) proposed routes for Cape Fear Crossing — the proposed fourth bridge crossing between New Hanover and Brunswick Counties — would cross through Brunswick Forest’s property.

Related: In photos: NCDOT’s first Cape Fear Crossing public hearing in Wilmington

Two routes, MA and NA, would cut around Brunswick Forest’s golf course, Cape Fear National. These routes would also cut through areas of Brunswick Forest where “future development” is marked off in its community map, but avoids populated, established neighborhoods in the community.

However, route MA and NA would negatively impact the neighborhoods of Snee Farm, Stoney Creek, the Farms at Snowfield, where many families are still recovering from flooding damage caused by Hurricane Florence. Route Q would result in the lowest number of relocations, 26, while route T would have the highest, according to NCDOT’s Environmental Impact Statement.

Earp brought up “old data” used to determine these numbers, a concern the local group Cape Fear Crossing Citizens Coalition brought to the department during public hearings held late last month.

“I am strongly opposed to Corridor Alternatives B, Q & T proposed by the NCDOT as they would directly cross through existing occupied neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest and severely restrict access within our beautiful Master-Planned Community,” Earp wrote in the letter, addressed to residents and property owners in Brusnwick Forest.

Residents in Brunswick Forest make up an estimated 25 percent of the town’s population. Earp said in his conversations with state and elected officials, government agencies, and his own staff, he has shared his “adamant objection to any route that would go through existing neighborhoods.”

Earp said on any given day, over 600 people are employed within the development.

“I will continue to work diligently with our elected official sand various state agencies and remain steadfast in my objective to protect the investment you have made in your home and the lifestyle you enjoy,” Earp’s letter states.

The Federal Highway Administration cannot approve Alternative-V, the last remaining route in the Cape Fear Crossing project that would have included U.S. 17 enhancements and construction on Eagle Island. (Port City Daily/Courtesy North Carolina Department of Transportation)

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