Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Wyndwater developer’s appeal continued so residents’ attorney can be present

The developer for Wyndwater, a Hampstead neighborhood nine years in the making, is asking for an appeal to the planning board’s decision to deny his revision request. (Port City Daily/Amy Passaretti)

PENDER COUNTY — The developer for Wyndwater is going to have to wait another 30 days to have his request for an appeal heard before the county’s board of adjustment.

At last week’s meeting, Pender County attorney Trey Thurman told the five-person board that counsel representing Topsail Greens Homeowners Association submitted a letter requesting the item be continued to the next meeting.

READ MORE: Developer submits Wyndwater appeal, in hopes to reverse planning board decision

Applicant Mike Pollak, on behalf of Signature Topsail is asking the board of adjustment to overturn the planning board’s denial for revisions to his Wyndwater master plan. The Hampstead neighborhood is nine years in the making with much of its homes constructed, but three phases are left to be completed.

The seven-member planning board heard at its June 7 meeting strong opposition from community members, mostly residents of Topsail Greens adjacent to the Wyndwater property, to deny Pollak’s request

The board had its own reservations, especially on Pollak’s stormwater plan, which members didn’t think was fleshed out enough to satisfy their concerns.

The planning board unanimously voted against the revisions, which would have relocated 116 townhomes to a parcel located north of Champion Drive and south of Topsail Greens Drive. The construction would interfere with at least 40 already-built residences; many fear their septic systems would be impacted by the development adding to abundant flooding problems.

Since the board of adjustment hearing is quasi-judicial in nature, Pollak obtained legal representation for the Wednesday meeting. When Topsail Greens HOA members learned of this Aug. 15, they sought their own attorney from the law office of Jordan Price.

Lawyer Molly Cozart submitted a continuance request to the board of adjustment and planning director Travis Henley Tuesday, the day before the meeting. It stated:

“We are unable to attend tomorrow and respectfully request the hearing be continued so the association, who is an interested entity in the outcome of the developer’s appeal and opponent of modifications to Wyndwater plans for phase 7 and 11, may have legal counsel present to submit testimony on its behalf and ask questions of persons or testify.”

Due to the late notice, the letter also explained if the board is unable to accommodate a continuance, Cozart asked members of Topsail Greens HOA be given the opportunity to present evidence and ask questions themselves.

In response, Pollak’s attorney, Amy Schaeffer with Lee Kaess, requested the board proceed as planned since “plenty of notice was given” or move the hearing to a special-called meeting in two weeks.

“Every delay is a delay in our project,” she told the board.

The board of adjustments unanimously approved continuing the item to Sept. 21.

“We would like to have all the information gathered at the same time rather than breaking it up,” chair Max Kipfer said. “There are a lot of people here with a lot of concerns, and I respect the applicant in what they’re trying to accomplish as well.”

The board of adjustment will vote on the Wyndwater developer’s appeal Sept. 21 at 9 a.m. at the Hampstead Annex.

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