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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

233-unit, 112-acre development on Dairy Farm Road proposes removing 1,000 trees

Dairy Farm Road is located off Sidbury Road and could become home to Lake Pointe, with over 200 units built on 112 acres. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

WILMINGTON — A massive townhome development is working its way through the county’s review process.

The proposed project from Wilmington-based American Coastal Development was up for discussion during the county’s Dec. 7 technical review committee meeting and dwarfed the other projects on the agenda. Jimmy Hopkins, a former Cape Fear Community College trustee, applied for subdivision approval on behalf of the company.

READ MORE: Wilmington developments to watch: 638 more units are coming to the Port City

The project, dubbed “Lake Pointe,” is looking to add 233 units across 112 acres on the 4,800 block of Dairy Farm Road. It would be located about two miles from a planned poultry farm on Sidbury Road. Nearby is also the north campus of Cape Fear Community College. 

The property, currently covered in trees, is zoned Residential 15, appropriate for a townhome development. The preliminary site plan includes removing more than 1,000 trees, the majority loblolly pines.

That totals 14,353 inches of diameter at breast height of trees to be removed, though the site will retain 7,870 inches. Only 1,174.5 inches are considered significant trees according to county ordinance.

The plan includes 3,645.75 of mitigation for significant trees, which is almost 50% more than the ordinance requires. Street trees will be planted every 50 feet along the roads in the development and the plan shows existing trees will remain in yards where they are able.

Lake Pointe will include a mix of smaller multi-family townhome lots and larger single-family buildings. The minimum townhome lot size is 2,200 square feet and the minimum single-family lot is 5,587 square feet covering 50 acres total.

The development would connect to Dairy Farm Road, just south of where it transitions into Blue Clary Road, with two outlets and a network of 4,011 linear feet of private streets to provide access to the homes, including three cul-de-sacs. A preliminary site plan shows two ponds flanking the project to the north and east to serve as stormwater management vessels. The north pond covers 2.4 acres and the east pond stretches over 9.4 acres.

Lake Pointe’s preliminary site plan. (Courtesy New Hanover County)

The lot sizes vary between about 0.05 acres for most of the homes to about 1.5 for larger lots that flank the east and north sides of the property. The largest lot is 0.217 acres. A 4,600 square-foot amenity building is planned for the center of the property along with a swimming pool. In total, about 20.52 acres of the parcel will be covered in impervious material. 

A small, half-acre cemetery abuts the north side of the property. Hopkins told the TRC the current plan is to build the project in a single phase.

In the TRC stage, projects go back and forth with county planners and local regulatory agencies to address questions and comments on the project. 

Senior planner Robert Farrell’s most recent written comments on the project said it meets the area’s zoning requirements. He had several recommendations for the plans, including marking Americans with Disabilities Act accessible connections and warning strips to sidewalks, adding total acreage to be occupied by structures including the streets and parking areas, and labeling open space.

The plans still need a fire hydrant layout, road widths and cul-de-sac diameters. According to the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, several improvements will have to be made on site — notably a northbound right-turn lane leading into the development at the first site access and the same for the second access. 

Jamar Johnson, an engineer associated with the WMPO, said the site is located near the speed limit increase to 55 miles per hour on Old Dairy Road.

County planning coordinator Katherine May told Hopkins the site will need eight address suggestions to put the new streets on the map.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated this project would go before the planning board and county commissioners. The use is allowed by right in the current zoing district and does not require approval from those bodies per county ordinance. Port City Daily regrets this error.


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