Plans for development move forward in Echo Farms

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Preliminary plans for part of the Woodlands at Echo Farms were approved Wednesday. Wilmington's Subdivision Review Committee voted to approve the plans as well as several waivers to technical standards for Tract 3C, a section of the larger development.

Save Echo Farms Chairman John Kay said the plan allowing for 62 townhomes is an improvement over prior plans. While the group opposed development, it now is working with the property owner Matrix to minimize the development's impact on current residents.

"It's a difficult situation. We all wanted to stay as a golf course, or a great big green space," Kay said. "We have done the best that we can. The owner owns the property and they have the right to sell."

Save Echo Farms also pushed for a park in place of the development, but Kay says the support wasn't there. He added that Mayor Bill Saffo is considering a smaller park for the area.

Several residents raised concerns during Wednesday's meeting about drainage issues and impacts on nearby wetlands. Kay said Save Echo Farms has been discussing those issues for months.

"The owner and designer and commercial developer will take whatever action is necessary to minimize flooding or water escaping into various part of the property," he said.

Brian Chambers with the city said the developer must now submit for a construction review. He said that process could take months.

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