Sunday, January 23, 2022

Stacked agenda at last New Hanover planning meeting of the year

The planning board agenda is stacked this month with prospective developments of all types in New Hanover County (Courtesy photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — To mark the end of the year, the agenda for the planning board Thursday evening is as full as ever. The board is set to consider seven different requests, ranging from alterations to a Habitat for Humanity project up to a riverside hotel with towers twice as tall as those of PPD. 

The board has set consideration of Battleship Point first on its agenda tonight. The proposal has been heralded by its supporters as a major step in beautifying the riverwalk and creating a new downtown. Others, however, are skeptical about how high-density development could thrive across the river in an area plagued by flooding and threatened by sea level rise. 

Battleship Point and its three proposed towers, each of them up to 240-feet tall, is a two-parter. The developers submitted plans to create a new zoning district, riverfront urban mixed use, that could fully accommodate their dream project. 

 READ MORE: No movement on aggressive proposal for across-the-river development

The next public hearing involves a high-density residential development off Carolina Beach Road and a national real estate company, Thompson Thrift Development.

An application filed by the attorney for the prospective developer shows 300 apartment units in 15 buildings; across the street New Hanover County is developing a 40-acre “passive park.” 

The apartments were first proposed back in May and are planned for 20 vacant acres owned by a local optometrist.

READ MORE: 300-apartment-unit proposal made for Carolina Beach Rd. 

Next up is Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity, with a formulaic ask that the county allow it to add a stormwater pond into a previously approved project. 

Cape Fear Habitat approached the board earlier this year with designs on an 11-lot development in Castle Hayne, run through its program. 

“It really supports the affordable-housing model because it’s still close enough to where families can benefit from access to downtown Wilmington services, but they can also enjoy the benefits of rural living,” Lauren McKenzie, director of finance and operations for the nonprofit, previously told Port City Daily. 

READ MORE: Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity submits plans for development in Castle Hayne

Around 90 acres of land owned by the Cameron family is also on the table at the planning board meeting Thursday. Local land-use consultant Cindee Wolf filed a rezoning request to ask for Cameron family acreage along I-40 to be made suitable for neighborhood development; it’s currently zoned for business. 

The Cameron land is in the vicinity of Holly Shelter Middle School and Castle Hayne Elementary — the sites for which were sold to New Hanover County Board of Education by the Cameron family in 2008. 

READ MORE: 90 acres of Cameron land near I-40 tapped by family for future project

Lastly, New Hanover County itself is applying for the right to expand the landfill into an 8-acre expansion parcel located immediately next to the existing site. 

The New Hanover County Planning Board will meet Thursday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the historic courthouse downtown and will be broadcast online


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