Carolina Beach approves change to land use plan, clearing way for mixed-use development

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The land located at 1000 Lake Park Boulevard was once a mini-golf course and then home to a sign promising a Harris Teeter for years. Now, developers have plans to use it for a mixed-use development.

But in order to build the development to the current plans, the developer had to request an amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance. Before this amendment was approved, mixed-use developments had to have commercial on the ground floor, and residential above it but this changes that requirement.

The restrictions were put in place to avoid having too much residential in commercial districts, and Jeremy Hardison, the town’s planning director, says that isn’t going to be a problem.

“Our concern was along the Lake Park Boulevard corridor — the main highway business through the town. We wanted to keep the characteristic of that area commercial and not just allow for straight residential, standalone adjacent to Lake Park,” he said.

Town council voted Tuesday to approve the text amendment request and now developers can move forward with their plans for the project, called The Proximity.

There is still a lot of work to be done before the development is actually approved, but the approval of the text amendment was a good first step. While there are concerns about traffic and more development, having a plan in place for something like this is actually better, in the long run, Hardison said.

“A lot of times if you can get a large parcel and have a master plan for that that is a better planning process, less driveway cuts, more uniform development, better handle on stormwater, so it does make a better project is definitely from a planning perspective and I think a community perspective as well,” he said.

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