Several projects seek minor variations of the city

Driving around town, residents may have noticed a bit more public hearing notification signs than usual. The City of Wilmington Board of Adjustment (BOA) is reviewing eight new issues and six old issues at its Thursday afternoon meeting.

“It’s a pretty full schedule,” said city zoning administrator Kathryn Thurston. “Several are old extensions that will likely be settled outside of the BOA, but had to be announced.”

Below is a summary of a selection of the largest projects seeking city variations.

Note: The BOA meeting is currently ongoing and this article will be updated later with the results of the vote:

Central point: The major CenterPoint mixed-use project, which broke ground in August, is seeking a variance to several landscaping rules.

Wilmington-based The Beach Company and Swain & Associates plan to bring more than 350 rental homes, 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a hotel and office space at 1531 and 1541 Eastwood Road.

The developers filed for the variance in August, asking for the removal of the requirement to plant all footings on the front and side elevations of commercial buildings facing parking areas. The developers are proposing to use above-ground potted plants instead and claim that in-ground plantings would inhibit the width of walking paths.

largest market: Outdoor produce venue, Biggers Market, was cited by zoning staff with a violation notice for allegedly inappropriately using outdoor entertainment without prior zoning approval. Parking on adjacent streets had become a problem, the citation says.

The market, which opened at 6250 Market St. in early 2021, appealed the citation in May and contested the allegations. Live music on the site predates new Land Development Code (LDC) amendments passed in December 2021, so the appeal asserts that outdoor entertainment on the site should be allowed as a non-lawful use. according.

At Thursday’s meeting, the BOA voted to revoke the city’s violation notice 3-2.

summer walk: Summerwalk Multi-Family Development seeks a variance from the City’s open space requirements. Situated on 25 acres with entrances at Oleander Drive and Greenville Loop Road, the original development was approved in 2015 with over 40% of the site reserved as open space.

In March, the city’s technical review committee received an application for the second phase of Summerwalk, which proposes to use the space reserved for the first phase. The updated LDC requirements would require the developer to forfeit an acre of commercial property “to pursue a development plan that is no longer supported by market conditions,” Summerwalk Commercial LLC stated in its application.

City staff have requested a continuation of the article.

Middleburg Communities: The large planned multi-family project on 17th Street is seeking permission to remove eight specimen trees. In August, the city approved a 50-acre rezoning to accommodate the project, which plans to build 570 residential units including apartments, townhomes, duplexes and cabin-style units.

After developing the wooded lot, Middleburg Communities LLC plans to add more than 500 trees to the site, the developers stated in the variance request. The removal of the sample tree is necessary to accommodate essential improvements to the site, the request says.

Little Loaf Bakery and School: A new bakery requests permission to maintain a sign that does not meet city code. Scheduled to open Saturday, Little Loaf Bakery replaced the old business’ sign with its own “pole sign” that stands 8.5 feet tall.

City code prohibits pole signs in this district and would require the bakery to be converted to a 6-foot monument sign with a deeper setback to comply. The bakery owner said the site is long and narrow with little to no flexibility for sign placement.

belly sandwich: Local franchisees of the national chain Potbelly Sandwich Shop are seeking permission to operate a drive-thru at a planned new location in Mayfaire.

A former SunTrust Bank location, the applicants seek to convert the space at 6818 Parker Farm Drive into a restaurant and seek to keep the drive-thru. Owners need a variance to operate a drive-thru within 1,500 feet of an existing residential use.

RaceTrac: A brand of gas stations, RaceTrac, Inc., is proposing to build a store at 605 Eastwood Road, but needs to obtain a permit to build fuel pumps and canopies in front of the building.

If the variance is obtained, the applicants plan to rezone the property, currently zoned R-15 and office and institutional, to commercial business. The owners are also requesting permission to remove five specimen trees.

Skyway Investments: Applicant Skyway Investmets LLC plans to convert a 14,400-square-foot building at the corner of Sunnyvale Drive and River Road into a construction equipment rental facility.

The owners are seeking a variance to install chain-link fencing around the property to prevent theft, vandalism and injury, and permission not to install a sidewalk on River Road, where there are no surrounding sidewalks.

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