NHC commissioners vote in favor of proposed developments, approve permit for cell phone tower

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holding public hearings to consider two...
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holding public hearings to consider two developments of interest and a quasi-judicial hearing to consider a special use permit request at Monday's meeting(Ryan Koresko)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of rezoning land for two proposed developments in northern New Hanover County and approved a special use permit for a cell phone tower between two residential communities at a meeting Monday evening.

One of the development proposals was to rezone approximately 63 acres of land located at 1308 Crooked Pine Road, at the intersection of Military Cutoff Rd extension and a proposed Murrayville Road extension, from residential to planned development with the intention of developing a mixed-use project.

The project proposes development of three parcels of land to include approximately 300,000 square feet of commercial development on the parcels to the east of Military Cutoff Rd extension and a maximum of 473 residential units, including senior living, on the parcels on the west side.

UPDATE: This rezoning proposal was approved unanimously.

Another proposal under consideration was to rezone approximately 41 acres of land located in the 100 block of Scotts Hill Medical Drive to accommodate a 172,000-square-foot hospital.

UPDATE: This rezoning request was approved unanimously.

Close to the hospital development site, in the 9000 block of Market Street, a rezoning request for a 19-acre development proposal to construct 256 apartments was also approved unanimously, despite objections from a handful of people citing concerns about drainage issues and expected traffic impact. The approval came after a request by Commissioner Rob Zapple to amend the plan to move the four-story buildings a further 15 feet back from the property line so that they are a total of 75 feet from the property line.

A quasi-judicial hearing was held to consider a special use permit request for a wireless communication tower in a residential zoning district, located on six acres of land north of Valley Brook Road and west of Fern Valley Drive between the Telfair Forest and Telfair Summit neighborhoods.

The planned cell tower will be 130-feet high, a minimum of 130 feet away from property lines, and will take approximately 45 days to build.

The developer selected the location in response to requests from three cellphone companies seeking to expand connectivity, after eliminating other options that did not meet the required criteria.

Although commissioners would have liked to see data to support the need and show which areas of the community were not covered, this information was not provided and a legal representative said the burden of proof did not lie with the developer to prove there was a need.

UPDATE: The special use permit request was approved 3-2 with Commissioners Deb Hayes and Rob Zapple casting the dissenting votes.

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