Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Senior living apartments on Middle Sound Loop spark questions, developer responds

The proposed senior living apartments are planned for 205 and 217 Middle Sound Loop Road. (Port City Daily/File)

OGDEN — More than 70 new apartments are being proposed for a new development off Middle Sound Loop and as with so many developments in the area residents have some concerns. These concerns are exactly why the county requires ‘community meetings’ to be held by the developer to help shed some light on proposed projects that could impact neighbors.

Traffic, trees, and the overall impact the proposed development on neighbors were discussed and the rezoning request will head to the Planning Board on March 5.

The following comments were received at the meeting and provided the following answers.

Trees and Buffers

Neighbors expressed interest in having trees adjacent to the Middle Sound Loop Road right of way retained to the extent possible.
Reply: The site plan as presented has pushed the building and parking as far north on the property as possible to provide a buffer adjacent to Middle Sound Loop Road.

Neighbors expressed interest in maintaining large trees on-site to the extent possible especially any large live oaks and magnolias.
Reply: These trees are located on the southern part of the property in the
“buffer” area along Middle Sound Loop Road.

One neighbor recommended an arborist be consulted with regard to the big trees on site.
Reply: An arborist would be consulted only if there are diseased or poor
health/condition trees exist that would otherwise be required for preservation to determine how practical preservation would be.

Traffic and Transportation

a. The issue of increased traffic on Middle Sound Loop and Market Street was discussed.
Reply: Based on a report provided by Ramey-Kemp & Associates, a TIA is not warranted for the project. The proposed use as senior apartments only generates 264 total trips per 24-hour day with less than 11 entering and exiting during the traditional peak hour times.

Concerns were voiced with regard to an ambulance trying to turn left into the development as vehicles are trying to get to Market Street.
Reply: As with all emergency situations, on-road motorists are to yield for emergency vehicles. This condition applies to each and every development or single-family lot in New Hanover County.

Will there be a multi-use trail on Middle Sound Loop Road?
Reply: New Hanover County Planning Staff and the Wilmington MPO / NCDOT will need to address any proposed MUP on Middle Sound Loop Road.

Stormwater

Several neighbors indicated concern about the potential for flooding, some
indicated that there is flooding that occurs at the Cloverfield Court/Wendover Lane intersection during stronger storms.
Reply: We will provide the required stormwater management on-site for our project. This will reduce the site’s post-development runoff to be equal or less than the 25-year pre-developed condition. The situation discussed is north of the project and not within our purview to remedy.

A neighbor indicated that “fairly recently” White Oak Apartments had to clean out the ditch on their property at their cost.
Reply: Unfortunate, but necessary in certain situations.

A neighbor indicated a “box” at the corner of our property and another at Darden Street may need repair or replacement.
Reply: We will investigate the existing stormwater structure and provide comments and discussion with the NHC Stormwater Engineer.

A neighbor asked if the ditches will be cleaned out to help with drainage from Market Street.
Reply: Middle Sound Loop Road is an NCDOT road. NCDOT should be consulted along with NHC Stormwater Engineering related to ditch cleanout to Market Street.

General

A neighbor expressed concern about the potential for an open field (adjacent to the subject property) to be used by residents with dogs and asked if there would be a pet policy for the residents of the proposed apartment facility.
Reply: Our project will be situated and design for the enjoyment of its residents. This may include a dog park for exercise and provisions for dog waste.

One neighbor inquired as to the maximum number of residents that will be allowed per unit.
Reply: Without physical lease documents a maximum number of residents per unit cannot be determined. Suffice it to say that a 1-bedroom unit would house 2-residents and a 2-bedroom may house up to 4-residents.

One neighbor expressed concern for the wildlife that may be impacted.
Reply: We are providing the required 20% Open Space on-site and providing tree preservation peer the NHC Unified Development Ordinance. An undeveloped parcel exists east of the project site and natural creeks and streams remain for wildlife corridors within the area.

Several neighbors expressed concern about activities on an adjacent single-family rental property.
Reply: This was a general comment and has no bearing or effect on the
proposed project.

One neighbor indicated he would like to see all minimum requirements be exceeded including the size of parking spaces since this was to be an age-qualified development.
Reply: We are providing a site plan enough in size and design to meet the needs of our project’s residents. To artificially “exceed” all minimum requirements is unnecessary as the county’s rules and regulations take these matters into consideration. By contrast, we have not requested any variance to reduce the minimum requirements.

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