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Residents concerned about infrastructure as large development proposed for Malmo Loop Road

Community in Brunswick County concerned proposed development may overcrowd schools
Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - The expansion in Brunswick County doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. This evening, community members met with a developer about a proposed 1,875-unit community on a plot of land off of Malmo Loop Road.

“Malmo Loop Road probably doesn’t have a hundred homes on it and we have the potential for them to build 1,800 residences over there,” said neighbor Michael Henderson. “The road can barely handle the traffic that we get now. If you think of multiplying that by a factor of 18 or 20, it’s going to be a mess unless there’s a big improvement.”

It’s drawn concern from neighbors and even the county’s planning board. That’s fairly common with these developments and things could move forward if everything is taken care of.

One issue that residents brought up today surrounds overcrowding at schools. This development would include up to 1,875 residential units which could mean just as many additional kids in Town Creek Elementary or Middle schools.

The state’s report card for Town Creek Elementary and North Brunswick High already shows signs of overcrowding. For kindergarten through 4th grade, class sizes are above average compared to the county and the state. It’s the same problem at NBHS.

Those concerns aren’t going unheard. The Brunswick County Board of Education had a committee meeting Tuesday where they discussed that exact problem.

“We cannot go wrong with expansion either way,” said board member David Robinson. “Space is going to be something determined usable no matter what. I’m not suggesting that we randomly struck up those structures, but we know where we’re going.”

Schools aren’t the only problem, though. Neighbors worry the county’s infrastructure, in general, can’t keep up with the growth, especially when it comes to traffic and flooding issues. Just this past September, heavy rain washed out part of that road.

“It’s collapsed several times, over-flooded, been undermined,” said Henderson. “That needs to happen. We need a traffic light at Rt. 74 and Malmo Loop Road. We need that now before there’s any development there.”

These are the very initial steps in the process of getting a proposed development plan underway. Changes are expected as the developer gets feedback from both the planning board and the community.

Developers have submitted a rezoning application for next month’s planning board meeting, The development itself won’t go before the board for approval until at least March.

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