Requested rezoning approved in Calabash

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By Laura Lewis, Reporter

CALABASH—The town board of commissioners has approved a resident’s request to rezone his property from commercial to residential.

The vote came at the town board’s last monthly meeting Nov. 13.

For the past few months, property owner Russell Price has been seeking to rezone seven acres he owns along Thomasboro Road from commercial to residential.

Compass Pointe Engineering previously submitted the request on behalf of Price to rezone the property at 1401 Thomasboro Road from CB (central business) to R-15 residential.

Mark Raggozino, spokesman for adjacent property owners with The Commons at Calabash, said their concern is they would like to avoid having spot zoning, with residential abutting their commercial land. They suggested a solution of subdividing and Price’s property at the back portion. But as lengthy debate ensued, it was pointed out that was not the request or issue before the town board.

Michael Norton of Compass Pointe Engineering spoke on behalf of Price, his father-in-law. He said the intent was the use the property was it was designed to do.

Town commissioner Emily DiStasio, who opposed the rezoning request, said the zoning for the site was changed to commercial in 1991.

“He could have come forward many times in 21 years,” she said, adding she couldn’t see spot-zoning “that one little piece of property.”

It was also pointed out the request had been denied by the town planning and zoning board. DiStasio also serves on that board.

Price also spoke at the Nov. 13 meeting. He said the issue was a moot point from 1976-2006, until the county went up on his assessment from $400 to $11,000.

“I don’t think anybody in Calabash has had an increase like that,” he said.

DiStasio said if Price’s request was approved it would set a precedent.

“Everyone can come in and make changes,” she said. “We decided that corridor is going to be commercial. I think we should leave it alone.”

Town commissioner Buddy Walton said he’s a firm believer a man’s home is his castle.

“He should be able to say what to do with property,” he said, citing “ill-conceived plans” that have mixed residential and commercial in the area in question.

He and fellow commissioners Sandy Melahn, Daria Buccilli and Jody Nance approved the request. DiStasio voted against it.

“All I can say is, why bother having a planning and zoning board if you’re constantly going to go against them?” she said.


Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.