Monday, June 27, 2022

Plans for Hooker Road development ‘Cottages at Bradley Creek’ submitted to Wilmington

Plans have once again been submitted to the City of Wilmington for the redevelopment of about 10 acres off Hooker Road. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — If there’s one thing to be said about property owners of a mobile home park off Hooker Road it’s that they are persistent in the desire to repurpose the property. Plans have once again been submitted to the City of Wilmington for the redevelopment of the property despite previous denials for rezoning requests from the city’s Planning Commission and almost no support from city staff in the past for proposed redevelopment projects.

Previous plans called for a rezoning and a special use permit that would have allowed for the development of 106 townhomes, followed by plans for a less-dense development consisting of 86 ‘cottages.

In June of 2019, the property owner took his request to City Council where it was then continued until July when it was ultimately withdrawn.

The plans for the property were opposed by neighbors at every step of the way; in fact, residents of the subdivision next door went as far as to hire an attorney to appeal the approval of the request.

Complaints about the request were largely due to the requested rezoning that would have allowed a denser development to be constructed.

“His [Penton, the owner of the mobile home park] request to rezone from R-15 to R-5, and then get approval on a Special Use Permit (SUP), which will further relax the requirements of the R-5, amounts to him getting approval to build apartments, regardless of the official language. These are free-standing, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 700-sq-ft units, hardly what anyone would call a ‘single-family development.’ This is an end-run around his original proposal, which was denied,” one neighbor wrote in an email about the request back in 2019.

What’s new?

Though plans have been submitted to the city’s Technical Review Committee for a neighborhood called ‘The Cottages at Bradley Creek,’ they only offer a brief insight into what is planned.

As previously mentioned the current zoning for the property is R-15, but the property owner is hoping to change that to R-7 and construct a PUD-R or planned use development residential.

Early plans also show a less-dense development than previously presented with a total of 56 three-bedroom units on the property. Maximum building heights would be 35-feet and an average of 5.2 units per acre would be constructed, this being less dense than what the R-7 district would allow (6.2 units per acre).

When it comes to traffic, the new development, despite having fewer units than the current mobile home park does, would generate more daily trips, according to initial plans. The 69 mobile homes right now generate 344 daily trips, but the 56 single-family units would create 536 daily trips.

The development will need to go through the city’s planning process and if a rezoning is requested, it will once again go to the Planning Commission as well as City Council. Submitting plans to the TRC is just the first step in the process and as it moves forward more information will be submitted.


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