Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Pender approves 175-home, 141-townhome Silo Ridge development in Scotts Hill

A Pluris water utility sign sits at the western edge of the 74-acre area designated for development, just north of Sidbury Road and west of Highway 17. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

SCOTTS HILL — The Pender County Planning Board has approved the development of a 74-acre residential neighborhood on the county’s southern boundary in Scott’s Hill. The property is currently covered with thick vegetation and trees but, if the proposed project moves forward as planned, will be home to 175 single-family homes and 141 townhomes.

Upon the recommendation of county planners, the board approved the development, called Silo Ridge, on September 1. Because the master development plan is classified as a Planned Development zoning district, it does not require a hearing before county commissioners.

The future development, originally called Blake West, will sit to the north of Sidbury Road and to the east of a maintenance road serving a future Pluris water treatment site. The community will be built out by McAdams Homes, which recently asked New Hanover County for a Special Use Permit to add more lots to The Landing at Lewis Creek, six miles to the southwest. The request comes several years after New Hanover commissioners approved The Landing at Lewis Creek following the objections of county planners and the planning board.

RELATED: Lewis Creek project, narrowly approved in 2017, asks New Hanover for more units

Silo Ridge will be served by 10 private streets and a private well system built and owned by McAdams because of the county’s inability to provide water service to the development, according to GSP Consulting. The sewer system for this development will be owned and maintained by Pluris, LLC. The Sneads Ferry utility company played a central role in a lawsuit between Wilmington developer Raiford Trask and a group of investors over a massive mixed-use development called Blake Farm just north of the future Silo Ridge neighborhood.

GSP Consulting, a Wilmington-based engineering firm, estimates Silo Ridge will generate 2,494 daily vehicle trips to an area already facing worsening traffic issues as nearby Highway 17 remains the key route from Wilmington to Hampstead and Topsail Island. (Right-of-way acquisition for the long-discussed Hampstead Bypass project has been suspended due to a NCDOT cash shortage, according to the Wilmington Business Journal.)

The projection includes 193 vehicle trips in the peak morning hour and 250 trips in the peak evening hour.

According to the county’s Technical Review Committee, the proposed development will likely require authorizations from the state’s Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, the Division of Water Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of its “upland development and potential impacts to adjacent wetlands and water resources.” 

“The impacts to wetlands and water resources include proposed temporary and permanent impacts to wetlands associated with construction of subdivision infrastructure,” according to a TRC review and response document submitted July 29.

The county’s Unified Development Ordinance requires 9.48 acres of open space for Silo Ridge, but developers are proposing nearly triple that amount at 26.77 acres.

“Silo Ridge also proposes sidewalks for pedestrian access to the open space areas and multiple recreation areas (pool facility, nature trails, play spaces, dog parks, etc.) throughout the site,” GSP engineer Garry Pape wrote in a project narrative submitted to the county’s planning department on August 19. “The developer is also planning to construct a multi-use path along the frontage of the project.”

The development, proposed at a density of 6.4 units per acre, would sit on the eastern side of a 437-acre property owned by a company called Blakes of Scotts Hill, LLC, which according to N.C. business records is managed by Henry Christopher Blake III, Carol Blake Batts, and Toni Blake Hardin.

On behalf of the owners, GSP had requested an increase in density from five units per acre to 6.4 units per acre; a county ordinance allows for “projects with exceptional design to exceed the density cap,” according to county planners.

The primary stormwater measures will consist of a closed conduit system directing water runoff to two proposed wet detention basins, according to GSP Consulting.

A master development plan for Silo Ridge includes 175 single-family homes and 141 townhomes. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Pender County)

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