Leland Town Council unanimously approves town home development

Residents stand behind a proposed town home development that could be built in Leland (Source:...
Residents stand behind a proposed town home development that could be built in Leland (Source: WECT)
Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 at 7:02 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Marty Nowak has called Leland home for the past five years, but he is concerned about a proposed townhouse development that would sit directly behind his home in Woodland Drive, a quiet neighborhood tucked behind Village Road.

“I’m all for growth. Let’s do growth, but let’s do it smart," Nowak said. "Let’s do it with good stewardship with resources we have in Brunswick County.”

The town home project called Settler’s Village was approved unanimously by Leland Town Council on Thursday night. It has been the topic of hot debate for several months, and the development had been continued four times at town council meetings.

Settler's Village by on Scribd

Several residents were at Thursday’s meeting to voice their disapproval of the proposed development.

“It’s just too much going on in a small space, building three story high town homes on the water," Nowak said Wednesday. "I don’t know how they’re going to do it.”

The 8.67 acre property that butts up to Nowak’s home is zoned both commercial and low-density residential. Leland’s staff is recommending town council rezone the property to General Urban Open use allow the build.

“The reason I moved to the house I did is because I am a veteran and I moved there because of how quiet it is,” said Damon Barr, Nowak’s neighbor.

Both men are concerned the property will be built on wetlands. Looking out their back doors at the proposed site, standing water is visible along with cypress trees that emerge from the wetlands.

Dan Weeks, landscape architect for the Settler’s Village project, says no development will take place in wetland areas, and confirmed the development is not located in a flood zone. Town records indicate Leland staff walked the property in late November and observed no signs of flooding from Hurricane Florence in September.

“A preliminary wetland study was done on the property and the development will not be built in a flood zone," Weeks said. "The town wouldn’t approve that anyway.”

Nowak and Barr, however, disagree and said they believe the wetlands will be in jeopardy if the site is approved for building.

“We have very limited places now where the wetlands are not taken up," Nowak said. "The way they are proposing it, it wouldn’t be a wetland any longer.”

“It’s going to take away the entire reason I moved here," Barr added. “Now we will have people looking down on you, and it will take away a beautiful part of Leland that doesn’t need to be taken away.”

Residents like Barr and Nowak are also concerned about the traffic the development will generate.

“Leland is a nice place to live. It’s quiet, but growing a lot lately," Nowak said. “Where they are proposing this development is in a very bad area on Village Road. There are only two lanes, and no turning lanes in place.”

Nowak has started a petition against the proposed development that has generated about 50 signatures.

“I love nature being back there," Nowak said Thursday. "It just seems so black and white. We’re going to make this picturesque kind of movie scene neighborhood and it’s going to have no impact on Stergen Creek? Look, I don’t buy that.”

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