Sunday, August 7, 2022

Middle Sound townhome development would make tree preservation a ‘priority’

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Plans for a conditional use rezoning for property located off Middle Sound Loop Road are in the works for a proposed townhome development, Demarest Pointe.

The property, located at 500 and 3626 Middle Sound Loop will have to be rezoned from current R-20 to R-5, a more dense zoning designation that will allow townhomes to be constructed. In general, community meetings are required for conditional use rezonings, however, the county has changed its policy when it comes to these meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This Notice for Information was directed by the New Hanover County Planning Department Planning in lieu of conducting a Community Meeting due to the current limitations for assembly of gatherings from the Coronavirus restrictions. As required by the County, this Notice of Information is sent to all property owners within 500 feet of the property boundary and available to all other interested parties. Middlesound LLC is requesting a Conditional Rezoning Request to allow the currently zoned R-20 designation to Conditional R-5 Residential District designation in accordance with New Hanover County’s Unified Development Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan for 500 & 3626 Middle Sound Loop Road (3.35 acres),” according to the announcement.

The property owner and applicant, listed as Middlesound LLC, has been working for years to acquire the properties as well as assigned easement accesses for utilities for the property back in 2009.

Tree preservation has been a topic of concern for residents and county leaders as more and more development raze tracts of land, but Middlesound LLC claims tree preservation will be a priority for the project.

“The properties have been managed over the past decade incorporating tree spading trees, erecting a fence buffer along the easement entitlements on the adjacent Pickway Court homes, preparing several trees for future relocation within the properties and maintaining the existing drainage systems . After several years of exploring alternative designs, “Demarest Pointe” neighborhood evolved with a priority to achieve sustainability, diversity, ecology and connectivity. Demarest Pointe achieves minimum traffic impacts (3 trips entering – 9 trips exiting, am and 10 trips entering – 6 trips exiting, pm), a priority for tree preservation and accommodating in excess of a 100-year storm event in a park-like setting,” according to the notice.

If approved and built to current plans, the development would consist of six buildings with four residences in each.

“The Demarest Pointe neighborhood provides a total of 24 Townhome Residences arranged in six (6) buildings with four (4) residences per building, each 1,700 sq ft., 3 bedroom, 3 ½ baths with a one car garage. The residences are positioned on two well defined one way “courtyard” streets with parallel parking, sidewalks and landscape islands. Each residence has a service alley and additional parking. Demarest Pointe is surrounded by the existing forest canopy for the entire perimeter of the neighborhood. There is an extensive sidewalk network that provides access to the Demarest Pointe Post Office, Demarest Pointe Park, Pickway Court, Odgen Elementary School and the Middlesound Loop Multi Use Path. Should you require additional information or clarification, I will welcome the conversation. Please contact me at 910-231-2428 or middlesoundllc@yahoo.com,” the announcement concludes.

This is just the first step in the rezoning process and once complete, the project will make its way to the planning board and eventually the Board of Commissioners for the ultimate approval or denial.


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