OGDEN — After being tabled for 90 days, a Special Use Permit for a mixed-use development on Market Street will get a second hearing in front of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
The project concerns a 30-acre property on the 200 block of Lendire Road, near the 7200 block of Market Street, being developed by Tribute Companies on behalf of owners Coswald, LLC. Tribute is asking for a Special Use Permit (SUP) for about half of the property to allow residential development of the business-zoned area.
After being approved by the county’s planning board, the project went in front of the Board of Commissioners in October of last year. Commissioners heard carefully presented objections from residents about the road conditions around the project (a potential safety issue) and stormwater issues. They also heard rejoinders from the developer’s attorney, which included the fact that if the owners built a ‘by-right’ project (i.e. without a rezoning or SUP), the final development would have greater traffic impact and less stormwater protection, with the county unable to impose any conditions.
In the end. commissioners reached an impasse — a motion to deny the SUP failed, as did a motion to approve it.
Commissioners appeared stuck, unable to approve or deny the SUP, but also unable to table the issue indefinitely. Commissioners wanted to press pause on the application until ‘infrastructure’ issues were resolved — including a proposed NCDOT overhaul of the abutting Lendire Road and improvements to the area’s stormwater situation. However, the developer objected to the vague timeframe implied by this idea and county staff cautioned commissioners that, if the developer appealed the delay to Superior Court, a judge was likely to force the commissioners back to the table to vote up or down on the application.
After commissioners initially made a motion to table the proposal for six months, the developer ultimately conceded to a 90-day delay; the pause was intended to give county staff enough time to get more information on road and stormwater plans — but won’t make the project contingent on resolving those issues.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold public and quasi-judicial hearings on Monday, March 9, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse, 24 North Third Street in downtown Wilmington.
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