Requests coming to the New Hanover County Planning Board in October would affect zoning designations on more than 500 acres owned for decades by the Trask family.
The homes built there could help meet the area's ongoing demand for workforce housing, Trask Land Company Inc. officials said Thursday.
The aim of separate rezoning requests is to allow the firm to eventually put a mix of housing in two communities, one with 158.65 acres at the northeast quadrant of the interchange of Interstate 40 and Interstate 140 and the other with 350 acres at the southeast quadrant.
"As the core of Wilmington continues to become more and more valuable and expensive, we think this is ideally suited for workforce housing," said Raiford Trask III of Trask Land Co.
The I-140 split is the reason for the two applications and for the planning of two separate communities, said Gardner Noble of Trask Land Co.
We're trying to position ourselves to have the land properly zoned to meet the continued growing demand for housing in the area, and current zoning does not allow that," Noble said "We envision for the property single-family homes, townhomes and apartments."
The rezonings would change the land from industrial designations to zones that allow that mix.
If the requests are granted, the 350 acres would go from I-2, Heavy Industrial District, and R-15, Residential District, to R-10, Residential District. The 158 acres would change from I-1, Light Industrial District, and R-15, Residential District, to RMF-L, Residential Multi-Family Low Density District, and R-5, Residential Moderate-High Density District.
Of the 350 acres, Noble wrote in the rezoning application, "This site is currently classified as community mixed use. The predominant focus on the new Future Land Use Map is mixing land uses. We would like for a broader mix of residential units (e.g. single-family, townhomes and multi-family) and the ability to utilize the existing [50-acre] lake to create a more vibrant and diverse residential community New Hanover County leaders and citizens desire."
He also wrote, "The lack of access to 1-140 and Sidbury Road from the southern portion of the property makes the property less suited for an industrial use. Having a [consistent] property zoning will help the property owners with future land planning strategy."
He said the proposed rezoning change will help provide different housing options for a growing county, among other benefits.
"While industrial developments often dominate a highway landscape, avoiding such development will better preserve the natural beauty of the land and New Hanover County's unique sense of place," Noble wrote.
He had similar comments for the 158-acre portion.
"Additionally, the introduction of a residential community -- serving more than just citizens seeking single-family residences -- will provide greater economic opportunity for nearby retailers," Noble wrote. "The proposed rezoning change will also help provide different housing options for a growing county."
The requests are expected to be considered Oct. 1 beginning at a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse, 24 North Third St., Room 301.