Monday, July 22, 2024

Developer asks for continuances on Lendire Road special use permit request

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A local project that has residents pushing back against a developer’s request for a special use permit is once again likely going to be postponed thanks to a request from the developer for a continuance.

If approved, the special use permit would allow the development of about 15 acres of land off Lendire road for a residential mixed-use project. The project is facing staunch opposition and in fact, New Hanover County Commissioners were unable to reach an agreement on the request with motions to approve it as well as deny it both failed to get a majority vote.

The project concerns a 30-acre property on the 200 block of Lendire Road and is 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, according to previous reporting on the development.

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Concerns about traffic, flooding, and other general overdevelopment issues have been voiced in opposition of the project — but the development team claims that allowing the special use permit would be less impactful than some by-right development.

“Under the existing B-2 zoning, there are many potential commercial land uses that could be developed by right on this 15-acre property or it could be developed as a Big Box Retail Store(s) or Retail Center. As a conservative approach, we assumed a mix of retail, office, and restaurant uses totaling approximately 116,000 SF. With this mixture of uses, internal capture reductions were included as well to be conservative in the trip generation comparison. In general, the results indicate that this potential conservative “By-Right Use” would generate approximately 3 times more traffic, and this could even be higher depending on the actual size and land uses developed on the property,” according to a traffic impact analysis conducted for the project.

Since the request is for a special use permit it is quasi-judicial in nature meaning the public hearing portion of the meeting will be conducted much like a courtroom. Witnesses are sworn in and must provide testimony and have standing in order to be heard — if not the county commissioner must disregard it.

The special use permit was supposed to be heard at 4 p.m. on Monday but since the developer is requesting a continuance it is likely the County Commissioners will grant it (although they could vote to deny it).

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