More apartments coming to Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington, NC

Hundreds of new apartments are likely to arrive at the busy intersection of Carolina Beach Road and Independence Avenue.

The Wilmington City Council recently voted 5-2 to rezone properties at 3818 Carolina Beach Road and 3930 Independence Blvd. To allow the complex to include 242 apartments and 15 townhouses.

Council members Neil Anderson and Kevin Spears voted against the rezoning, citing concerns about traffic flow and safety around proper entry and exit points.

“I don’t want to drive out there one day and there’s a wreck from someone pulling out going left and someone else getting hit because we didn’t make sure that wasn’t possible,” Anderson said.

Here’s what you need to know:

What will the development include?

It is surrounded by residential and commercial areas and is located on 23 acres. The complex will consist of 242 apartments located in five four-storey buildings and 15 townhouses located in five two-storey buildings with a maximum of 707 parking spaces. The parcel is located on the north side of Independence Boulevard at the intersection of Carolina Beach Road with the Southgate neighborhood to the north and Crossroads Center to the south.

What is the purpose of rezoning?

According to a case summary provided by Assistant Planning Director Brian Chambers, the plan would provide significantly more housing options and should improve the quality of life in the immediate area. The development will achieve open space preservation and will also allow for quality development while ensuring that the natural areas of the plot are preserved.

How will this affect traffic?

There will be a “widening of Independence to accommodate the turn at the entrance to the Crossroads Center,” according to Chambers. Since traffic data shows there will be an increase in the number of vehicles passing through the area, the plan includes a right turn lane for entry and exit at access points on Carolina Beach Road and Independence Boulevard. The North Carolina Department of Transportation also approved a signalized crosswalk across Independence Avenue.

more: With raised edges and holes that resemble Swiss cheese, this is why Wilmington is so oddly shaped

What does the community have to say?

At a recent City Council meeting, Trish Ryu, a nearby resident, raised traffic concerns.

“I don’t know how this would be done without addressing Independence Avenue between Carolina Beach Road and River Road,” she said.

Christine Pierce, another resident, expressed similar concerns.

“What about the people who come out of the crossroads and need to get back to their homes at Echo Farms or River Road?” She said. “There’s another left turn, so you’ll have a left turn, and then a U-turn that’s butting heads.”

Despite traffic concerns, it was ultimately decided that adding the U-turn was critical to traffic flow.

more: These Wilmington roads see the most pedestrian accidents. Here’s what’s being done.

What then?

Due to the city’s desire to create a physical barrier at entry and exit points and the debate over the type of barrier, the project will not be able to move forward until an agreement on the type of barrier is reached. This proposal will be heard again by the City Council at a later meeting.

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