FIRST ON 3: Hundreds of new homes proposed on Echo Farms golf course


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Some homeowners in Echo Farms are concerned about a proposed housing development that could affect the golf course.

Beth Ann Hillman moved into Echo Farms 20 years ago for a specific reason.

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“We bought knowing that there would be golf tennis, pool access,” Hillman said.

It was all for her kids. She said most of the neighborhood kids played golf.

“The children played golf not only for Hoggard High School, Laney and Trask,” Hillman said.

According to city e-mails, a developer for the Woodlands Project wants to build 275 single family homes and 400 apartments within Echo Farms.

“Economically, it’s fine, but the problem is ecologically, it’s going to hurt,” Hillman said.

One of Hillman’s concerns is the creek that runs through the neighborhood.

“Our creek runs directly to the cape fear river and once it’s polluted or destroyed, it takes years for it to clean itself back up,” Hillman said.

IMG_4798According to the e-mails, part of the proposed development would eliminate the golf course.

“People bought for golf,” Hillman said. “They are avid golfers themselves. They wanted the fairway They wanted the greens and they wanted the tees.”

Hillman said she is not opposed to development, but when it comes to her home, she want to be a part of the conversation.

“We’d also like to talk to them and say hey we’re all in this together,” Hillman said. “You know Wilmington is our home.”

When we reached out to the developer, this was the response:

“In response to changing business demands at Echo Farms, Matrix Golf & Hospitality, in conjunction with local consultants, is conducting an exploratory review of its options.  Considerations have included a possible new residential community as well as a renovations/upgrades and possible expansion of the popular swimming and tennis facilities.  At this time, however, there are no definitive plans to announce.  Echo Farms Golf Club remains open for business.”

Hillman said they are having a residents association meeting tomorrow night to discuss what they can do to get involved and get some answers.

We do know a traffic impact study is underway on the proposed project.

Tomorrow, we will sit down with the city to find out more about the proposed development.