Board of Aldermen to discuss plans for West Salisbury property

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During its monthly meeting Thursday, Aug. 14, the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen will hear director of planning and parks Tony Wilson’s unfavorable recommendation regarding the consideration of a mixed-use conditional use permit for 100 West Salisbury St.

The property was previously a convenience store but has been vacant for several years. The mixed-use development project would designate one floor of the building for three residential units and the other floor for retail and office use.

The development would require 27 parking spaces. With only 17 parking spaces on site, the applicant would need a parking exception for 10 additional spaces located within 400 feet of the main entrance to the building.

Because finding these extra 10 spaces could be problematic, the board will discuss any possible exceptions to the 27-space requirement. It will consider the time of day the residential spaces and the business spaces would be occupied, and whether those times would actually overlap that often.

The planning board, which voted 3-1 to forward an unfavorable recommendation to the board of aldermen, was concerned the project would create office and retail space when town policy encourages commercial space, such as grocery stores, drug stores and restaurants, which provide basic goods and service to year-round residents and visitors.

Among the issues the board will consider are pedestrian and vehicular traffic on West Salisbury Street, and the design and layout of buildings and parking areas to be aesthetically pleasing with low impact to surrounding businesses, and environmental elements relating to soil erosion, protection of water resources and preservation of trees.

Addressing a separate issue concerning long-term water and sewer needs, the board will look at a study by Groundwater Management Associates, Inc. assessing the soundness of the Wrightsville Beach well system. GMA’s plan to maintain a viable water supply for the future would cost the town $50,000.

The board will also discuss the possibility of moving forward with allowing customers to use credit cards for payments to the town. A representative from First Citizens Bank will make a presentation regarding the best possible processing solution to meet the town’s needs.

Another item on the agenda is addressing the issue of the old landfill site, located on valuable land near Mayfaire Town Center and Landfall. The landfill was used for waste disposal following Hurricane Hazel, but other than that, very little is known about the contents of the landfill due to dense vegetation.

The town recently contracted with Catlin Engineers and Scientists to review the environmental conditions of the property for potential development or sale. The board will discuss whether to leave the site as it is, clean the site for a future buyer or clean the site and allow it to become passive open space.

To better prepare for regional disasters such as hurricanes, the board will consider allowing town manager Tim Owens to write a letter to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners requesting the town be included as a part of the county’s multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan. Currently all other cities and towns are part of the county’s plan except Wrightsville Beach.

email emmy@luminanews.com

 

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