Sunday, March 26, 2023

New Hanover County prepared to give Habitat for Humanity nearly 16-acres for affordable housing

The county is considering conveying the majority of a piece of property at 3101 Castle Hayne Road to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. (Port City Daily/File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — While it’s not a new issue, affordable housing has increasingly been a topic of concern for residents and leaders in the Cape Fear Region. New Hanover County is once again considering making a sizable donation of land to the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity to construct new affordable housing units.

But first county leaders have to approve a rezoning request for the property located at 3101 Castle Hayne Road from R-20 and B-1 districts to R-10.

The property is currently split zoned, with approximately 13.76 acres zoned R-20 and 2.1 acres zoned B-1. Under the performance residential standards, the portion of the property currently zoned R-20 would allow up to 26 dwelling units at a maximum density of 1.9 dwelling units per acre … Under the proposed R-10 district, this property would be permitted up to 52 dwelling units at a maximum density of 3.3 dwelling units per acre,” according to the request.

The property itself is currently undeveloped and while the majority of the property would be conveyed to Habitat for Humanity, a small portion of the land would also be held onto by the county for the possible construction of a new fire station.

This is not the first time the county has gifted (or considered gifting) property to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. Just last year the affordable home builder broke ground on one of four pieces of land conveyed by the county to them which were previously used as CFPUA sites. The initiative was actually part of a 2018 memorandum titled Property Conveyance for Workforce Housing.

This agreement states, “In accordance with N.C.G.S. 153A-378 (3), when parcels meeting the following eligibility are conveyed to New Hanover County, staff will recommend to the Board of County Commissioners at a regular meeting to either sell the parcel through the upset bid process or convey the eligible parcel without compensation to a registered nonprofit.”

It’s not just the county that is working with Habitat for Humanity, the City of Wilmington is currently awaiting a final proposal that would give the organization a piece of property located on Castle Street at the former Wave Transit depot for the development of a mixed-use affordable development.

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