July 10, 2020 at 4:36 PM EDT – Updated July 10 at 6:02 PM
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Despite its growing population, New Hanover County is one of the smallest counties in the state based on land size. Some neighbors say it’s too many people for so little space. That’s why they are fighting a rezoning request for a new housing complex.
Six buildings, 24 units of townhouses is what neighbors near Middle Sound Loop Road are fighting against. But it’s not just about the townhouses, the property is also right across the street from Ogden Elementary, which neighbors believe would cause a traffic nightmare.
“It’s really about safety,” said Beau McCaffray, Middle Sound Loop resident. “We’re concerned that accidents and more importantly the fatalities and injuries from accidents in this area will increase. The denser the development the more cars.”
The initial plans from the developer Middlesound LLC only call for one entry and exit point pitting those cars up against each other to get onto Middle Sound Loop Road.
They are also afraid the development could lead to more accidents. The group wants county commissioners to know they don’t have anything against welcoming newcomers to their neighborhood, the are just isn’t the right place for the development.
“To go from R-20 to R-5 with nothing in between is what the planning board folks said, aggressive,” said Lisa Andree, Middle Sound Loop resident. “And we would be alright with the current R-10 zoning which I believe would allow for 6 homes. That would fit in more with the community.”
The county planning board, however, sees it differently. It believes the proximity to the school is a positive and the design will help limit traffic issues.
The NHC planning board recommended approval of the plan 4-2 at the last county commissioners meeting. The county will make a final decision on the project on Monday.
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