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Positive Feedback for New Hanover Town Center ‘Resolution Plan’
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent
2022-08-10

            With 12 pieces of ongoing litigation between New Hanover and developer R.P. Wynstone, L.P., and numerous iterations of the Town Center plan, it seems something just short of a miracle that a new plan might be the answer.

            The New Hanover Board of Supervisors heard a presentation by R.P. Wynstone/Select Properties representative Ben Goldthorp at their Thursday, August 4 meeting about what Goldthorp termed the "resolution plan" for the Town Center development, to be located on 191 acres on Swamp Pike.

            Before Goldthorp's presentation, Township Manager Jamie Gwynn stated that the supervisors should table the agenda item for a motion "regarding a preliminary plan proposal" for the most recent version. He noted that Goldthorp would be coming back to the board meeting on August 22 to discuss details of the plan, and that would be the sole item of business for that meeting.

            Solicitor Andrew Bellwoar also cautioned Goldthorp, and the engineer and attorney for the developer in attendance, that "feedback does not equal approval."

            Goldthorp presented a PowerPoint showing the new plan, which would feature 159 active adult single-family homes and 39 active adult carriage homes in one section, all with no basements. A clubhouse, pool, walking circuit, and event space are also included in the active adult area.

            The development would also include 401 townhomes with two-car garages and a 100-unit apartment building. The commercial section would feature 23 live/work units, meaning two stories of apartments over ground-floor commercial; 17,000 square feet total of restaurant space; a 67,000 square foot grocery store; and 53,455 square feet of general retail. A total of 1,059 parking spaces would serve the community. The development would be managed by a homeowners' association.

            Not surprisingly, the apartments met with pushback. Supervisor Kurt Zebrowski said, "I don't see apartments fitting in the township," due in part to the increased traffic that would be created, on top of that from the active adult section, the townhomes, and the commercial space. Goldthorp said it was something that could be added later, with the space on the plan assigned to the apartment building left as green space.

            Goldthorp said that the development would include 40 percent green space and contribute $4.7 million in tax income with $4.2 million going to the school district, plus it would generate 500 jobs for the community.

            The supervisors were most pleased by the roads shown on the new plans, which had been straightened and had the intersections lined up.

            He further stated that he had the plan designed based on previous feedback from the supervisors and that he had not aligned it with the township ordinance, which would be part of the upcoming discussions and consultant review.

            In roads news, the new Hanover Square Road bridge reopened this week. Lutheran Road and Charlotte street work are slated to finish at the end of August, and Swamp Pike at the end of October.

            Gwynn reported that he and Bellwoar would be closing on the Hickory Park restaurant property on August 8, using open space funds.

            Bellwoar reported that the supervisors had met in an executive session before the meeting to discuss personnel, litigation, and potential litigation, and would meet afterward to discuss litigation. No action was taken.

            At the beginning of the meeting, Board Chair Marie Livelsberger asked for a moment of silence for neighbors on Little Road following the tragic events of July 29 and 30. She thanked the New Hanover police and surrounding department, Montgomery County SWAT, the New Hanover Fire Department, and several others for their aid.


 

 

 

 

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