Battleship Point development hits snag at Planning Board meeting
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Planning Board declined to make a decision Thursday that would allow the Battleship Point mixed-use development project to move one step closer to approval.
The proposed high-rise development on the western shore of the Cape Fear River would contain nearly 900 apartments and condominiums, 100,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space, and room for a hotel.
“We’re providing a huge opportunity for the county, both financially, and more importantly, helping with the housing shortage,” said Frank Pasquale with KFJ Development.
In order to do this, developers are asking the county planning board for the creation of a new zoning district known as Riverfront Urban Mixed-Use.
“We don’t fit into anything else,” Pasquale told the Planning Board on Thursday. “I think staff will tell you there’s no zone out there that we fit in.”
Several people spoke out at the meeting in support of the project. One person gave a presentation against it, citing flooding concerns.
It is the only place in New Hanover County which is a triple flood risk threat,” said Dr. Robert Parr. “The risk comes from the Cape Fear River watershed, it comes from storm surge, and it comes from sea level rise.”
Pasquale argued Thursday’s decision was not about whether or not to approve the project, but rather whether to create the new zoning designation.
“Unfortunately we’re not here to discuss flooding tonight, we’re here to discuss a text amendment to the master plan,” Pasquale said.
The planning board was originally supposed to consider a separate rezoning request after hearing a presentation on the details of the project. Pasquale says that had to be removed from the agenda because the plans had not yet been approved by the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization.
This led the board to delay making a decision on the creation of a new zoning classification.
“I would like to see us continue this until our December board meeting so we can consider it at the same time that we consider the project,” said Planning Board member Donna Giradot.
Pasquale spoke with WWAY following that decision.
“The decision tonight is not a shocking decision,” Pasquale said. “This is a huge project and it is a cutting edge project and it’s a situation where people have to kind of adjust to the scope of this. I’m very confident that we’re going to move forward next month and get the approvals that we need to go before the county commissioners.”
Read more about the project here.