Loyack, Lewis to continue as chairman, vice-chairman

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

BOLIVIA—Planning board chairman Michael Loyack and vice-chairman Alan Lewis will continue with their respective duties, board members voted Monday night.

Lewis, who led Monday’s meeting because Loyack was absent, said he spoke with Loyack, who said he would like to continue as board chairman.

Board members also granted an extension request for Oak Harbor Phase 3, which was tabled at the board’s Aug. 11 meeting.

The development received approval Sept. 25, 2006, and received a six-month extension March 10.

Board member Denny Jordan expressed concerns about “a tremendous amount of extensions,” coming before the planning board.

Jordan questioned if the county’s 18-month development period is sufficient.

Planning director Leslie Bell explained most extensions being requested are for developments approved prior to the implementation of the countywide Unified Development Ordinance.

Any development approved since the implementation of the UDO now has three years before the developer must seek an extension, Bell explained.

Board members were split while mulling over a rezoning request, but ultimately approved the request 4-3.

Property owner William Barber requested to rezone nearly 10 acres on Hickman Road and Green Pastures Lane near Carolina Shores to neighborhood commercial from low-density residential. The rezoning was also tabled at the board’s Aug. 11 meeting, because Barber originally requested to rezone the property to commercial low density.

Adjacent property owner Andrea Nance said she opposed the rezoning because she did not want a commercial venture bordering her property.

Citing safety, noise and trash concerns, Nance said she wanted a safe place for her kids “to be kids” on her property, adding she was told the property would remain residential.

But Barber said he always intended for the property to be commercial.

Board members were split on whether the rezoning was appropriate for the area and whether it was reasonable for the area.

“I think it would be an asset, and I think it’s suited for the area,” board member Bobby Long said of the rezoning request.

“There is a need for some commercial,” he added.

Lewis said the neighborhood commercial zone would be appropriate for the area.

“I do believe in the neighborhood commercial process,” he said, adding it protects neighbors because of the allowable low intensity uses in the commercial zone.

“That’s why I think it would be appropriate.”

In other business, board members:

•Approved a request to rezone 7.4 acres on U.S. 17 near Carolina Shores to commercial low density from its split zoning of commercial low density and low-density residential.

•Approved a request to rezone .23 acres on N.C. 133 near Southport to commercial low density from medium-density residential.

•Approved a special exception for Phase 4 of the Bluffs on the Cape Fear planned unit development. The expansion includes six single-family lots on 2.99 acres. With its expansion, the planned unit development includes 555 single-family lots, with an overall density of 1.47 units per acre.

Caroline Curran is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at ccurran@brunswickbeacon.com.