Belville planning board recommends approval for 400+ apartments

A new apartment complex is one step closer to coming to fruition.

BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A new apartment complex is one step closer to coming to fruition after the Belville Planning Board approved a special use permit on Tuesday night.

The proposed apartment complex called Evolve at Waterford would be on Poole Road, backing right up to the Waterford community. A total of 408 units including a pool, pickleball court, fitness building, and garages.

The public meeting was standing room only, mostly made up of Waterford residents, and lasted a little more than four hours at Belville Town Hall. The board heard from the developer’s side as well as members of the community.

Waterford residents consistently shared concerns for how close the complex would be to their property. In some cases, some of the buildings in the new development would come about 20 feet from their backyards.

“It’s going to decrease our privacy, noise levels, light pollution, traffic, possibly crime, and because I’m a realtor, I know it’s going to affect our property values in a negative way,” Waterford resident Dr. Erik Tammaru said. Tammaru is one of the property owners directly adjacent to the complex.

The developers did address some of these concerns. An experienced appraiser conducted a study of similar properties in the Greater Wilmington area to find out if developments like these had any impact on property values. According to her analysis, she found that in similar situations property values were not impacted.

Many of the residents questioned this study because it was not conducted in Leland, Belville, Bolivia, or a similar area. The appraiser explained this was because the study needed comparable properties to provide accurate data.

A traffic engineer hired by the developers conducted a study and found the roads were sufficient for the complex, with only the Olde Waterford Way entrance being slightly over-capacity during the evening rush hour.

To address concerns for security, noise, stormwater, and more, the Planning Board approved the special use permit under six conditions.

  1. The developers will work with lighting engineers to prevent light pollution from leaving the site of the complex.
  2. The pickleball court and dumpsters will be moved on the opposite side of the property that is not directly adjacent to the Waterford community to reduce noise.
  3. A buffer or berm of some kind will be constructed for security and to create additional privacy, as well as reduce potential light pollution. The Town of Belville will choose what kind of tree will be planted here.
  4. The drainage will be in accordance with all state and local laws and ordinances.
  5. Bike parking will be implemented in the complex.
  6. The developers must provide a rendering of the design to the town to ensure it is cohesive with the surrounding developments.

The planning board’s recommendation for the board of commissioners to approve the special use permit is only one step in the process. Next, the board of commissioners will vote to grant or not grant the special use permit. The next scheduled meeting for the Belville Board of Commissioners is Monday, December 13 at 6:30 pm.

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