NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A housing development hotspot has another proposal in the works.
Local developer Rockford Partners has its sights set on unused land on Carolina Beach Road, adjacent to Tregembo Animal Park, for 328 townhomes and 10 single-family homes. The development would be completed in three phases; the first will include the single-family lots along with 143 townhomes, with 104 and 81 townhomes following in the next two phases, respectively.
The project would take up nearly 50 acres on two parcels at 5831 Carolina Beach Road and 5982 Appomattox Drive. Both parcels are zoned R-15 for residential use, but would require a conditional zoning district from the county for the high-density project.
Each townhome building would contain a maximum of four units, although lot size and square footage have yet to be determined, according to developer James Yopp. He told Port City Daily the goal is to build three-bedroom residences. Community amenities will include a pool and clubhouse.
While the planning documents label the project as a “new development,” Yopp said it actually could become part of the neighboring Tarin Woods community, another of his housing developments.
“There are a lot of details to determine, along with communication with Tarin Woods’ residents before a decision will be made; however, it is likely,” Yopp said.
Yopp’s past attempts to expand Tarin Woods were not met with warm regards. In May 2020, Tarin Woods residents formed a resistance to a 575-unit addition to the 130-unit single-family neighborhood. A petition to reject the rezoning request received 229 signatures, with some people claiming the high-density project was a money-grab.
During that same time, Yopp told Port City Daily the plan was about practicality rather than profit.
“It doesn’t make sense to build single-family homes that abuts a zoo — on a lion’s cage — or a 600 unit storage facility, or a strip mall,” Yopp said. “That’s not practical.”
The 2020 addition was eventually approved by the county and built.
The new development’s initial site drawing shows a tightly woven design plan. One entrance point would extend from Manassas Drive, but it is unclear if another entry point would be included, or if the development’s roadways would connect to the surrounding neighborhoods like Tarin Woods and Battle Park.
The drawing breaks down the development in two sections; the first’s open space calculation is 3 acres, 0.18 acres over the required 20%. The second section includes 6.18 acres of open space, where 6.03 acres are required.
Yopp said if the rezoning request is approved, stormwater and off-site road improvements will be made to accommodate the neighborhood.
Part of rezoning process requirements, a community meeting was hosted by Rockford Partners on Dec. 28 for nearby property owners. Port City Daily reached out to Tarin Woods homeowners association but did not hear back by press.
With their feedback, Yopp can submit formal plans to the New Hanover County Planning Board ahead of its Feb. 2 meeting.
“We are having discussions with surrounding residents’ concerns toward traffic, road improvements, amenities, infrastructure, and open space,” Yopp said.” It has always been a part of our development process to consider concerns of the community and how these items work with NHC Comprehensive Land Use Plan to provide a suitable product for our future and existing residents.”
In recent years, the Carolina Beach Road area has become a focal point for housing as New Hanover County’s population expands to the north and south. In November, plans for a 300-unit apartment complex, fit with a major convenience store, hit the county’s technical review committee.
Another 88 townhome units are also under review at 5308 Carolina Beach Road, and 126 more — also a Yopp project — in the 6900 block will be reviewed at a community meeting on Dec. 29.
Reach journalist Brenna Flanagan at firstname.lastname@example.org