Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Who’s building in New Hanover County? 4 rezonings set stage for future development

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Four proposed developments — totaling nearly 20 acres across unincorporated New Hanover County — have passed the planning board and now are on the way to commissioners for final approval.

On May 2, county officials will consider approving each project during its regularly scheduled meeting at 4 p.m. in the New Hanover County Courthouse. If given the green light, developers can begin pulling permits and undergoing technical reviews to carry out their visions for the land.

Here’s a breakdown of applications slated for the upcoming agenda:

The Covenant

What: 68 single-family attached units, with 17 quadruplex structures, plus parking, a clubhouse and amenities

Location: 3100 block of Blue Clay Road, north of Rachel’s Place and to the southeast of New Beginnings Christian Church

Owner: New Beginnings Christian Church

Acres: 9.6

Fast Facts: New Beginnings Church is seeking a rezoning to build more townhomes as part of its project “The Covenant.” The property, bought by the church in 2013 for $360,000, is currently in the R-20. If approved, this change in zoning would assign it to the R-5 district, which allows for greater densities.

The application states, “The typical large-lot homes of the past were necessary due to the need for adequate land to support wells and septic systems. Now public utilities are available. A denser housing product makes in-fill possible with better affordability.” Plans show a community garden and center and a playground for this senior community. Buildings will ​​range between one- and two stories.

Edgewater Villas

What: 44 single-family, attached, two-story townhomes with a pool

Location: 300 block of Edgewater Club Road, east of the Waterstone neighborhood and north of Porters Neck Elementary School

Owner: Har-Ste Investments, LLC

Acres: 7.32

Fast Facts: This upscale townhomes project has faced some pushback due to concerns over traffic, flooding, environmental impacts, and overall effects to the area, according to planning documents. Still, the planning board voted 5-1 to recommend approval with some conditions. These include paving a sidewalk between the complex and Porters Neck Elementary, designing a stormwater management system for a 100-year storm event and only housing residents ages 55 and up.

Consultant Cindee Wolfe is seeking this rezoning out of R-20, which it was assigned in the ’70s, to R-7 on behalf of the landowner to allow for greater density. She wrote in the application, “Townhome communities such as this one are in demand due to lifestyle preferences, affordability factors and proximity to services.” Har-Ste Investments, LLC has owned the land since February 2021 when it was purchased for $366,000, according to property records.

West Bay Commercial on Market Street

What: A bank

Location: 7491 Market St., at the southwest corner of the intersection of Market Street and Torchwood Boulevard

Owner: Dallas Harris Land Company

Acres: 1.1

Fast Facts: James Fentress, of Stroud Engineering, is attempting to rezone this parcel from R-15 to community business to build a 2,400-square-foot bank with a covered drive-thru, ATM and three service lanes. He’s also asked that medical and dental buildings and offices be permitted in case the land use changes in the future. Currently, the property is vacant, but it’s been known to serve as a homeless encampment.

Castle Hayne straight rezoning

What: Possible low-density residences, retail and restaurant

Location: 6205 Blossom St., at the corner of Castle Hayne Road and Vine Street

Owner: Walu, LLC

Acres: 1.84

Fast Facts: Undeveloped land in Castle Hayne is proposed for a rezoning from R-15 to community business and R-10. The change in zoning would allow for up to three residential units at 10,000 square feet, along Blossom Street, and commercial construction on the remaining land, fronting Castle Hayne Road. The application mentions a restaurant and retail as possibilities.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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