Echo Farms developer proposes plan to replace golf course

Echo Farms developer proposes plan to replace golf course

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Owners of the Echo Farms Golf and Country Club submitted a site plan on Friday that would replace the golf course and build hundreds of new homes.

Matrix's site plan calls for 536 new residences including 171 single family homes, 125 town homes and 240 multifamily homes. It also includes enhancing the current pool and pool area, adding a lawn area for games and gatherings, a playground, fire pit and park space, tennis courts with seating venues for viewing, and pickle ball courts.

According to a Matrix release, the proposed design includes input from local traffic and infrastructure experts and the plan allows for the creation of additional turn lanes along Independence Boulevard and Carolina Beach Road to ensure that the improvements facilitate easy and efficient access.

The submission represents the first step Matrix has taken to the production of the golf course. Residents in the current existing neighborhoods are opposed to the development and after the development was proposed formed the "Save Echo Farms" group in protest.

Neighbors said the  development would add hundreds of new homes would take away green space, add traffic to busy roads and overcrowd nearby schools.

"This isn't just about Echo Farms and the 139 acres of green space that's going to be lost," Save Echo Farms spokesman John Hirchak said. "This involves a whole community, the whole city, the whole county. You can look right now at the loss of our green space. It's happening so rapidly and you can't recover from it. You can't just suddenly produce another 139 acres out of nowhere."

The outcome of the "Save Echo Farms" group is for residents to be given the opportunity to buy back the golf course from Matrix, but it doesn't seem to be working.

In October, the City of Wilmington received an application to rezone the Echo Farms Golf and Country Club.

According to city officials, the application wanted to change the property from a Multifamily Residential Medium density to R-15, Residential.

City officials said the difference in the codes is that 17 units can be built per acre in a multifamily medium density versus only three single-family units per acre in an R-15 residential zone.

Below is a map of the submitted plan:

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