Boat dealer, lawn care operation, outdoor furniture store and a subdivision: rezonings approved

Two members of the Board of Commissioners, Rob Zapple and Charlie Rivenbark, attended the meeting in person at the District Court. The other commissioners were virtually present. (Port City Daily / Courtesy New Hanover County)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY – The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday for the second time since new members Deb Hays and Bill Rivenbark were sworn in after the November 2020 election. The board reviewed progress in building a new government building and expanded the Meals on Wheels program.

It was a big night for reallocations and land use inquiries as four agenda items relating to land planning were brought before the board. All of them passed unanimously.

RELATED: Planning Committee: Three Projects in Progress in New Hanover County

Three of the four applications concerned individual private companies rather than large subdivisions or large complexes. Only one request on behalf of Preservation Point concerned the rededication of more than five acres of land.

An attempt by Design Solutions to expand one RV park Near Carolina Beach, the Board of Commissioners’ meeting continued in February.

Battleship Cycles and Navy

Battleship Marine plans to build a dealership and showroom on Market Street north of the Military Cutoff intersection. (Port City Daily / Courtesy New Hanover County)

Between a CubeSmart warehouse and a veterinary hospital on Market Street is a vacant piece of land the owners want to turn into a boat dealer, with retail space for boats, motorcycles and ATVs.

The development in this area has so far been unsustainable because the veterinary clinic next door has a sewage system that is located in the forest area between the two properties. In addition, there is a 41-inch heritage oak tree near the sewer system which limits potential plans.

Sam Potter, an attorney for the applicant, said the developers had worked with CFPUA to bring the sewer to the site and that the sewer system, which is currently restricting development, will be removed once the veterinary clinic has access to the new sewer.

According to the county’s planning staff, the applicant increased the main building area from 10,500 to 12,000 square feet, but the increase would have no measurable impact on traffic patterns. Developers worked to incorporate the historic oak tree into the design of the proposed structure, which sits on approximately 2.3 acres at 7775 Market Street.

Porch concepts

Design Solutions’ Cindee Wolf submitted a plan for a patio furniture store on Market Street – including a parking lot, a rainwater pond, and two different buildings. (Port City Daily / Courtesy New Hanover County)

Design Solutions’ Cindee Wolf said her clients are currently renting space for their patio furniture business and are hoping to move the business to their own property.

“Like so many aspiring business owners, they now have the confidence to own their own properties,” she told the board.

Porch Concepts will include a furniture showroom and a warehouse for storing products. It operates on 2.2 acres on Market Street, minutes from the proposed boat dealership.

While the site is currently reserved for residential use, the applicants argued in their proposed plan: “Single-family homes are much less attractive along busy traffic corridors.”

The property is in the midst of major construction projects along Market Street. Commissioner Rob Zapple asked Wolf if the applicants understood how the proximity of the site to the NC Department of Transportation’s Military Cutoff Extension project would affect them. Wolf said her customers understood and that her currently rented furniture store was already next to the construction of Market Street.

Conservation point

Developers behind Preservation Point want 71 acres of their land to be reserved for residential use, even though the land is subject to conservation and non-buildable. (New Hanover County Employee)

The developers of Preservation Point, a riverside subdivision in Castle Hayne, asked the Board of Commissioners to move more than 70 acres of land from industrial to residential. However, instead of using the reallocation to increase density and build more units, the applicants claimed that the reallocated land was encased in an airtight protection measure that will prevent future development.

RELATED: Preservation Point Asks A Rare Question: A Reallocation Requirement That Doesn’t Include New Development

After the rededication, the land could be divided into existing land in Preservation Point. Although small additions like pavilions or kayak launches would still be banned, residents could enjoy ownership of the vast land that extends from their front yard, according to Frank Braxton of Coastal Land Design.

“One of the key features of this development is the prospect,” Braxton told the board. “This is what people are looking for. The view of the river, the view of the swamp. And we felt the best way to keep this up was to put it in a conservation department that had enough teeth to get it through, but also to expand the line of their lot. “

Zapple pressed Braxton about how restricted the rights of the owners of the land would be.

“This is, as you said, for the view only and cannot be disturbed by some other type of gazebo or launch or anything?” Asked Zapple.

“No,” replied Braxton.

“Wow, that’s great,” said Zapple.

The conservation department, Braxton said at a previous meeting of the planning authority, has been worked out with county staff and lawyers and written so that “there is recourse and a way to put teeth into relief when someone goes beyond their limits”.

Lawn of freedom

In addition to the Myrtle Grove Middle School, there is an adjacent property with a small business structure and a residential building to the west.

Cindee Wolf represented the complainant, a lawn maintenance franchise company hoping to move into the property, and said that Freedom Lawns, like her other client, is currently renting a property and is planning to move into the property.

“This is in no way intensive use,” she told the board.

According to Wolf, the lawn care company would do all of its work outside of the company. The county staff informed the board that the existing residence on the site constituted a “legal mismatch” as it was established before the country code was updated. However, the site has been used for office-related purposes since the late 1990s.

Wolf is also trying to get special use permits for the owners to live in the residence on site. This item was continued at the February Committee of Commissioners’ meeting.

Other applicants previously tried and failed to secure the reallocation for this property. a The request to build a Dollar General next to the middle school was shot down in 2019.

Freedom Lawns recently closed a deal on the property west of middle school in an effort to create a facility that is said to have low impact and no significant traffic. (Port City Daily / Courtesy New Hanover County)

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