UPDATE: Planning board passes proposals for five new communities to create 450+ homes in Brunswick County

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Brunswick County officials say Leland might not be the fastest growing area in southeastern North Carolina anymore. Another Brunswick County area is booming and may have taken the title.

The planning board unanimously passed proposals for five new communities at a meeting Monday night.

According to the planning board chair, Eric Dunham, the big takeaway from the developers’ proposals was the impressive stormwater plans.

“The developers of the land were designing stormwater systems to handle 100-year storms,” said Dunham. “That’s amazing! They are only required to meet standards for 10-year storms.”

Dunham added that this and loss of trees are common concerns from the public; however, the planners went above and beyond to address these issues, including the addition of a 30-foot buffer of trees around one development.

Only one of five proposed developments is near Leland. The rest are near the South Carolina border in Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach.

“That’s probably the first [fastest-growing] area where we’re seeing the most activity,” said senior planner Marc Pages. “Second would probably be Leland-area and third would probably be Southport, Highway 211 corridor-area.”

The five communities will be in the following locations:

  • Major subdivision Allston Park: Shingletree Rd. NW
  • Planned development Hickmans Crossing: 1025 Calabash Rd. NW
  • Planned development Gore Tract: Beach Drive & Goose Creek Rd.
  • Planned development Coastal Haven: Mt. Misery Rd.
  • Planned development The Courtyards by Carrell: 7040 Ocean Hwy West

In total, the developments will create more than 450 new housing units. This comes on the heels of the approval of two other developments proposed for the same area back in May. Pages says all those communities will bring more businesses to the rural area.

Allston Park on Shingletree Road is a major subdivision meaning that community will offer bigger lots for single-family homes. Meanwhile, the other four offer less square footage to its residents but for a fair trade. Pages says the difference is the way space is divided among its residents. For planned developments, that means less square footage.

“You lose your backyard and front yard a little bit in exchange for more [common areas,]” said Pages. “That allows for flexibility of housing types. It allows for townhomes and multi-family in a zone that would typically only allow single-family.”

Pages says those development proposals are perfect for retirees who may not want a large yard to have to keep up with. It also gives home buyers more variety when it comes to price tags.

Getting the green light from the Planning Board is just the first of many steps for developers. There’s plenty more on the to-do list before they can start building.

“[They need to] get what they call a sedimentation and erosion control permit, they typically would have to do a traffic study — for most of the larger developments, they would have to do that,” said Pages. “They would have to get their wetlands delineated. There’s a lot of things that would need to happen, that they would need to secure before they actually start moving dirt.”

Those developments are just the beginning of growth in that area. Pages says businesses and other residential developments are sure to follow.

“We’ve got six more coming next month, maybe, that are kind of this size or smaller,”said Pages. “The way my phone is ringing off the hook and the way I’m getting site plans, I’m not seeing much of a slowdown.”

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