- Published on Friday, 04 May 2012 22:40
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
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 voted at their April 12 meeting to recommend Town Council deny the request.
The Carolina Beach Town Council will hold a public hearing and consider the request at their May 8, meeting at 6:30PM 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. 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 the Town's zoning ordinance prohibits the applicant 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, "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.
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."
Parvin explained one concern is, "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)."
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.
During the Planning Commission's April 12, meeting the applicant was not present.
Alan Masterson stated his earlier opinion and said, "I am opposed for that purpose that I think it already reaches far enough down Goldsboro and the zoning is about where it should be."
Goldsboro resident Catherine Pope said she was at a meeting in 2007 to oppose a conditional use permit on the same street and, "I never dreamed in a million years that I would be back here to oppose something even worse."
She said the mobile homes in that area are grandfathered in and, "Can not possibly find another place in New Hanover County to put them because they are all old and can't stand being moved. It cost $1,600 to move one and then you have to get permits for plumbing, electrical" and other issues and, "You're looking at $4,000 for the owner of that mobile home to move it anywhere. That would be a very big problem for several of those homeowners."
Pope said the infrastructure on Goldsboro Avenue is not adequate enough to handle increased commercial development beyond single-family homes.
Goldsboro Avenue property owner John Creech said he and several family members that own property in the area have concerns with infrastructure demand in the area and creating excessive traffic congestion for surrounding streets.
Local resident Charles Mullens expressed his opposition to the rezoning request and pointed to minutes of meetings in 2001 where the Town moved to eliminate RV parks as a use in Town.
Mullens said the owners, "Were actually saying it didn't add anything to the advantage of Carolina Beach and that within five years they were going to phase their own [park] out. I know times change and people change, but these were the conditions in 2001."
Commissioner Greg Reynolds said it was unfortunate the applicant wasn't at the meeting.
The Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend Town Council deby the rezoning request. Several members were not present for various reasons.