WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The City of Wilmington Planning Commission voted to rezone a piece of property on Middle Sound Loop Road.
“Providing affordable housing to 55+ seniors in New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington,” the applicant said– that’s the goal for Blue Ridge Atlantic Development. They have already gotten full approval for this project from New Hanover County back in 2020, but due to setbacks from the pandemic, they are now asking for the city’s approval in hopes of annexing that land to help financially.
“We went through the process back in 2020 and I think we all know that it was a much different environment– particularly in an interest rate and construction building environment,” the applicant explained.
The applicant has a plan, ready to break ground within the next two months.
“This is a much deserved and well needed part of the market wear senior citizens with affordable incomes need a place to live in order to stay in New Hanover County Wilmington,” commissioner Al Sharp said.
“I think Mr. Sharp is exactly correct we are increasing the probability of the success by assigning conditional zoning to that site so that they can request to be annexed into the city from city Council to move the project forward,” planning commission vice-chair John Lennon added.
While the planning commission is in favor of rezoning the property to move this project along, neighbors, not so much.
“We have some concerns; flooding, traffic, infrastructure. We are not opposed to the project, we are opposed to the rezoning,” one neighbor said.
“There were no site plans sent from the letter for the city Wilmington and I am within 300 feet of the property it’s hard to even know what’s being proposed without a site plan being included in your letter the developer never held a community meeting for this application for annexation so that residents are mostly in the dark,” another neighbor added.
“This directly addresses a very critical gap in our housing stock. Our population is aging and projects like for the residence at Canopy Pointe can help us retain wisdom and experience of our moderate income seniors who are too often unable to stay in the community where, for many of them, have spent the whole lives,” Katrina Knight said in favor of the project.
The planning board voted all in favor of the rezoning but the final annexation decision will have to come from city council.
City Council will discuss the annexation on June 7.
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