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Carolina Beach Planning Commission To Consider Rezoning For RV Park On Lake Park Blvd.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Winner RV Park on N. Lake Park Blvd is requesting the Town to rezone a portion of  over 2.5 acres of land in an area on Goldsboro Ave.
The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request at their April 12, meeting at 7PM at Town Hall.
The Winner RV Park is located in the Highway Business District adjacent to an R-1 residential district. The rezoning would allow expansion of commercial uses into a traditionally quiet residential district of Town serving older single story residential homes.
Goldsboro Avenue, off N. Lake Park Blvd across from the Last Resort Bar, is one of the smallest public right-of-ways in Town at 34-feet of street width and low traffic volume.
According to Town Planning Director Ed Parvin, it appears that the Highway Business District boundary was somewhat arbitrarily set at 400' from Lake Park Blvd in this section of town. The boundary line splits this parcel. Section 2.3 (6) of the town's zoning ordinance instructs that "In the event that a district boundary line on the zoning map divides a platted lot held in one (1) ownership on the date of passage of this ordinance, each part of the lot so divided shall be used in conformity with the district in which each part is located." Therefore, in order for the applicant, M. Troy Slaughter, to develop the entire parcel with a commercial use, it would be necessary to re-zone the portion of the property currently zoned R-1 residential."
Parvin explained, "According to Article 22.7 Prohibition of certain testimony, “Under a general rezoning, the applicant shall be prohibited from offering any testimony or evidence concerning the specific manner in which he intends to use or develop the property.”  The purpose of this section of the ordinance is to emphasize that zoning map amendments open the land up to all the uses in the new zoning district and are not tied to a specific project.  In other words if rezoned, Mr. Slaughter or any future owners of the property will be able to develop the lots for any uses authorized in the HB zoning district."
RV Parks are not currently permitted in the Highway Business District.
On Monday March 19, Parvin said the applicant expressed a desire to obtain the rezoning and then come back to the Council for a zoning amendment to permit RV Parks in the Highway Business District. Parvin said such an allowance would most likely be done under a conditional use permit (CUP) process requiring further Council approval with conditions.
Parvin explained that for the rezoning request, the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council must consider all potential commercial uses allowed in the Highway Business District and their impacts upon the land to be rezoned.
Parvin explained, "The site proposed for rezoning is located on the north side Goldsboro Avenue.  Currently there is a nonconforming mobile home park located on the site.  The mobile home park would be nonconforming in R-1 or HB.  There are nine (9) mobile homes located on this site."
The site proposed for rezoning is bordered on the east by property that is also owned by Mr. Slaughter.  This property contains the home for the manager of the travel trailer park that is located in HB and fronts on Lake Park Blvd.  According to the applicant the travel trailer park accommodates up to 21 recreational vehicles/campers.
There are two large tracts of land on the north which are both undeveloped.  The eastern tract has never been developed, while the western tract is the former site of Diversicare Assisted Living Service.
Although zoned for single family or duplexes, small scaled single family homes are located on Goldsboro Avenue to the south and west of Mr. Slaughter’s property.  On April 10, 2007 a condition use permit was heard and denied by Town Council for the development of five (5) single family homes on a 13,500 square foot lot located at 315, 317, and 319 Goldsboro Avenue.  The reason for denial was: That the use will materially endanger the public health or safety if located where proposed and developed according to the plan as submitted and approved by the issuance of the C.U.P.  Specifically there were concerns with the density, numerous driveway cuts and reduced setbacks.
Parvin explained, " Both the 2007 Land Use Plan and the current language of the zoning ordinance speak against changing the character of the residential areas and/or avoiding high traffic uses on smaller residential streets such as Goldsboro."
Parvin explained, "Staff has concerns for the rezoning request for the following reasons" the first being, "No rezoning request can be considered in complete compliance with the 2007 Land Use Plan due to the land classification areas being drawn almost identical to the zoning district boundaries; however this request will extend a highway business district well back into a residential area."
Parvin explained, "The zoning map amendment does appear to conflict with the 2007 Land Use Plan’s policies that continuously reiterate the desire to protect our residential areas from more intense uses such as those allowed in the HB zoning district."
He explained, "Goldsboro has a small right-of-way (34 feet) that is not designed to support high levels of traffic as are typical for HB zoned areas. A conditional use permit was denied in 2007 across the street based on high density and
traffic concerns with a project presenting 5 small single family homes on a 13,500 square foot piece of property."
He explained there is a significant amount of existing undeveloped land and vacant storefronts in HB and, "Expanding the district could encourage more commercial blight."
Parvin explained, "If this is a proposal that the town wants to consider, there may be way to alleviate many of the concerns above, however addressing these issues will have to be done either through amendments to our code or may be addressed if a use requiring a CUP was requested on the site."
Parvin said one option is, "Limiting/prohibiting driveway cuts once HB properties extend into residential areas. In addition, subdivisions would have to be limited/prohibited to alleviate the concern of partitioning off smaller HB lots out of the current 2+ acre parcel.  Out of the R-1 area being rezoned you could potentially make 5 conforming HB lots available for any use in HB (i.e. drive thru restaurant, gas station, retail, etc)."
Parvin said, "Requiring larger landscape buffers when HB properties are located adjacent to residential zones."
He said, "The Planning and Zoning Commission could research a less intense commercial zone that will allow for the development the Mr. Slaughter hopes to build.  This would take additional study and cooperation from the nearby property owners to develop an area plan. and may not be in the time
frame or best interests of the applicant." The Town's Technical Review Committee considered the request last week and agreed with planning staff’s recommendations. No additional concerns were addressed. The rezoning request will be on the Planning and Zoning Commission agenda for their April 12, meeting at 7PM at Town Hall in the Town Council meeting room.
On Tuesday April 10, Planning Director Ed Parvin said, "I've been spending 90% of my time taking calls from neighbors who are not happy with the rezoning request."
Parvin said some owners of neighboring properties have called just to get information, but didn't express an opinion.
Adjacent property owner Allen Masterson says he had no problem with extending the Highway Business District, but not as far back into the residential area as requested by the applicant.
He also said there's a difference between a short term RV Park and a long term trailer park where people stay for months on end. He said several currently staying at the park next door to his property have been there for the long term, one for almost two years.
Back in 2001 Masterson says he wanted to open an upscale RV Park. In June of 2001, the owners of the Winner RV Park opposed his request and ultimately the Town Council voted to remove RV Parks anywhere in town. That grandfathered the Winner RV Park. At the time in 2001 the owners said they hoped to redevelop the park to another commercial use within five years.
He said, "I'm in favor or people doing what they want with their land, but there's too many if's in this case" saying the rezoning could open the door for other commercial uses deep into a residential neighborhood.