Thursday, July 25, 2024

UPDATE: A frontier still untapped: Brunswick County approves 5 subdivisions

Five proposed subdivisions, marked on this map of Brunswick County, will be deliberated on at a planning board meeting May 10. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

Update: The planning board approved all applications during Monday evening’s meeting.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A wave of proposed residential growth is prepared to sweep Brunswick County, with five major subdivision applications prepared to launch at Monday’s meeting of the planning board. 

Sprawling buildable land and robust utility infrastructure are key attractors. Together, if approved and built, the collection of developments would amass more than 1,200 acres of land and create more than 2,500 new homes — and also a host of townhomes and multi-family units. 

The largest proposition, Timber Farms, accounts for 800 acres and 3,000 units. All five proposals are submitted as “planned developments,” which require a comprehensive site plan from the applicant. If approved, it gives developers a “vested right” to the project lasting for three years.

Port City Daily highlighted two projects this past weekend. The three remaining developments are clustered within 4 miles of each other in the center of Brunswick County, between highways 211 and 17. 

A former Brunswick County commissioner, J. Phillip Norris — who has six years of service for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — is now at the helm of one of the county’s predominant engineering consulting firms representing the developers of the three proposed subdivisions. 

Not far east of Brunswick Community College’s main campus in Bolivia is the smallest of the proposals. The “Smith/Ward Tract” — named for the combination of two parcels, one owned by John Ward and the other formerly owned by Wayne Smith — would bring 83 homes to a 33-acre site just south of Highway 17B. 

The Smith/Ward Tract, the smallest subdivision of the five proposed this month, would include 83 single-family lots on 33 acres. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

Property records indicate a trust was set up for Smith’s parcel in February and then it was deeded to a Lumberton company called Parker Manufacturing 2, LLC in March. 

“The proposed 83 lots will generate approximately 794 vehicle trips per 24-hour weekday volume,” according to the application. 

Bella Point is a subdivision originally approved for construction by Brunswick County in 2006. On multiple occasions in the past two years, the developers have returned to the planning board to request expansions to the project. To date, plans allow for 193 homes on 75 acres. The ask is to add another 144 lots on 61 acres, bringing the total size to 336 lots on 136 acres.

Bella Point plans call for 336 single-family lots on near 137 acres. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

The new Bella Point request is comprised of three parcels; two of them appear to still be owned by private citizens, while the third is owned by an LLC connected to Carolina Beach town councilor and developer Steve Shuttleworth. 

The third planned development represented by Norris’ firm, Norris & Tunstall Consulting Engineers, is referred to as the “Smith NC 211 Tract” — a proposed development of 292 homes on 133 acres. 

The Smith N.C. 211 Tract would include 292 single-family lots on 133 acres if approved. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Brunswick County)

The site is 3 miles west of Bella Point, and expected to generate approximately 2,794 vehicle trips per weekday. It’s owned by a Calabash company called “Wayne’s Backhoe Service.” 

The planning board will meet at 6 p.m., May 10, at the David R. Sandifer Administration Building in Bolivia. The full agenda packet can be found here.

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