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Shallotte planners recommend approvals; mull Main Street request

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The Shallotte Planning Board has recommended approval of annexing and rezoning property on Lake Shore Drive and subdividing a tract on Main Street but put off until next month another Main Street subdivision request because staff had numerous comments.

The board voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s board meeting to recommend approval of annexing .6 acres on Lake Shore Drive and rezoning it from the county’s RA-15 zoning to the town’s R-10, a low-density residential zoning district.

Also approved with little discussion were the preliminary and final plats for East Coast Coffee/Copper Cup commercial subdivision, which could have been handled by town staff except for the fact the same owner owns the adjacent property. That qualifies it as a “major subdivision” that requires planning board and board of aldermen approval, town planner Allen Serkin explained.

The subdivision, on a 1.78-acre tract and a .23-acre tract on the corner of Main Street and Hinson Street, is already served by public utilities.

The request from the owner of the Whites’ Landing Commercial Subdivision drew more comments. In particular, Serkin explained town staff had numerous comments about the plan including eliminating a cul-de-sac and connecting roads.

Property owner Deedy White explained the plan is an attempt to divide property among family members. The property is off Main Street toward the Shallotte River.

White said he had a land planner preparing a plan for the property and connecting the roads would not be compatible with the plan.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Winters asked if the subdivision was in keeping with the town vision plan.

Serkin responded the lack of road connectivity and walkable streets make it somewhat incompatible.

White’s attorney, Douglas Baxley, told the board owners agreed with most of the comments but could not agree the roads should connect.

“Connectivity may not be in best interest of homeowners,” Baxley said, indicating no one knows what plans the adjacent property owners have.

Serkin reminded the board if a cul-de-sac were allowed, there would never be a way to connect the roads.

White disagreed and said requiring connections would hinder the developers and would not be fair to property owners.

“This is a good plan. After talking to the land planner, what he has shown us is really good. It would be an asset to the town of Shallotte,” White said.

Board member Bobby Lewis said the board should consider not doing a “cookie cutter rubber stamp” on the plan but should consider possible changes to the unified development ordinance.

“I know the value of connectivity, but I do not think this is the location for that,” Lewis said. “There are other options we need to explore.”

Board member Gene Vasile said the board should consider the possibility hotels or townhouses could be built on the property, resulting in a significant amount of traffic in and out of the area.

The board agreed to table a decision until next month’s meeting so town staff would have an opportunity to read the applicant’s responses to the comments presented at Tuesday’s meeting.