Real Estate - Commercial

Porters Neck Development Expected To Get Permit After Court Order

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 3, 2015

New Hanover County officials are expected to ratify the issuance of a special use permit for a mixed-use development in Porters Neck as a result of a court order.

The ratification is on the consent agenda for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners’ meeting at 4 p.m. April 6 in the Assembly Room at the New Hanover County Courthouse, 24 N. Third St.

Board chairman Jonathan Barfield signed the order granting the permit requested by development company ACI-Pine Ridge LLC on March 19 after Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons issued the order Feb. 26. The judge’s order was based on a June 2 hearing at which commissioners considered the project, slated for the 100 block of Porters Neck Road.

In the Greensboro-based company’s plans as of January last year, the 38-acre development, called Porters Neck Crossing, next to the Lowe’s Home Improvement on Porters Neck Road would include a 273-unit apartment community in 13 three-story buildings, four residential parking garages, a clubhouse and other amenities, according to a previous Greater Wilmington Business Journal article. Five separate buildings would house 40,000 square feet of commercial space for future restaurants and retail.

The judge called the commissioners’ 2-2 vote in June a denial of the permit and found that the action was an error of law, according to a document from the county attorney’s office included in the April 6 meeting’s agenda packet.

Barfield and former commissioner Tom Wolfe had voted in favor of granting the SUP while commissioners Woody White and Beth Dawson voted against it. Former commissioner Brian Berger was absent from the meeting.

In December, county attorney Wanda Copley read each of the four findings of fact required to grant an SUP and for three of the four, White and Dawson had to specify their objections to the project as part of a previous court order, according to a Dec. 22 GWBJ article. At that time, White said the additional traffic would endanger public safety and that he didn't think the commercial portion would ever be built; Dawson's objection addressed the permit's criteria that the land use be in harmony with surrounding land uses and conform to the county's land use plan and also said the project wouldn't be consistent with the Coastal Area Management Act's land use plan.

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