Friday, February 3, 2023

Murrayville Road development tabled, but could return as part of larger 50-acre Ogden site

Murrayville Road currently dead ends near Hanover Reserve but there are plans in the works to extend it when the Military Cutoff Road extension is complete --- and new development is already in the works (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
Murrayville Road currently dead-ends near Hanover Reserve but there are plans in the works to extend it when the Military Cutoff Road extension is complete — and new development is already in the works (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The proposed mixed-use development project off Lendire Road has drawn plenty of attention over the past few months, but it’s far from being the only project planned in the Ogden area. Developers have submitted another rezoning request just a few miles down the road with the hopes of constructing new townhomes on the currently R-15 zoned property.

And that is just part of it.

Earlier this month the New Hanover County Planning Board heard from developers hoping to get the rezoning. Despite a lengthy public hearing, ultimately the developers asked to table the request indefinitely — but it will be back, possibly as part of an even larger request.

“It is anticipated the applicant will propose additional rezoning(s) in the future to allow for commercial and higher density residential development on the remaining portions of the site (approximately 50 acres – highlighted in yellow above), as the direct access to arterial and collector type streets could support this development,” according to a staff report presented to board members.

The portion of land that developers were proposing the rezoning for consists of just 5.28 acres of currently undeveloped property, but it is a part of a larger plan.

The property is located within the Hanover Reserve subdivision, a project that was approved back in 2015 for 377 units.

“The subdivision obtained preliminary plan approval in 2015 for 377 units. To date, 192 single-family lots have been platted within the subdivision, most of which now contain occupied single-family homes. The R-15 and R-5 districts are both residential zoning districts. While the R-5 district (8 du/ac) permits more base density than the R-15 district (2.5 du/ac), it prohibits mobile homes and typical multi-family development, like apartments, allowing a maximum of 4 units within any residential structure,” according to the report.

A new route

Murrayville Road runs from College Road in Murrayville eastward for a few miles until it dead-ends at the property. But construction is already underway for the Military Cutoff Extension project, and with that project, Murrayville Road is slated to become a much more popular route.

“During the design of the Military Cutoff extension project, NCDOT negotiated with the developer to extend Murrayville Road to connect to the future Military Cutoff extension. Doing so will allow Murrayville Road to be utilized as an east/west collector road, ultimately connecting Castle Hayne Road to Military Cutoff.

According to a county staff report, this extension could help alleviate some of the congestion along roads like Gordon and other connector roads.

“Once connected to Military Cutoff, Murrayville Road will likely be utilized as a significant east/west collector road that will connect Castle Hayne Road to Military Cutoff, allowing access to the Murrayville, Northchase, and the Laney High School areas. This may aid in alleviating traffic along Gordon Road and other local roadways as motorists have additional routes to reach their destination in the northern portion of the County,” according to the report.

The project was tabled for an unknown period of time with plans to bring it back to the board still an option.

A representative for the developer, Matt Nichols, said he would still like to bring the application forward in the future and that it could be incorporated into a larger component of the project — Hanover Reserve. He also said it is possible they might want to change it from a general zoning request to a conditional request.

This is particularly significant if it were resubmitted as a conditional use permit since these types of rezonings are quasi-judicial compared to the more open nature of rezoning requests.


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