Whispering Pines developments nixed

Both of the PUD developments proposed along Whispering Pines Boulevard were halted Thursday night, but development of at least one of the properties is still likely.

The issue was up for vote before the Board of County Commissioners Thursday night durign their regular special rezoning meeting.

The first and most contentious of the developments would have been the Sanctuary Apartments a 164-unit, seven building complex locat­ed at the northern end of Whispering Pines Boule­vard just south of Pouder Lane.

However developer Bobby Killingsworth willingly withdrew the project. 

The other develop­ment still on the table was located across the street. That subdivision, Creet’s Landing, would consist of 48 lots on roughly 54 acres of property, part of which was covered in wetlands according to county records.

Both projects were put forward by Kill­ingsworth in partnership with James A. Parker. Both men own portions of the potential develop­ment.

The seats of the meeting room were nearly filled with residents of the subdivisions along Whispering Pines. A 900 plus signature petition was presented to the board requesting no further development to be allowed along Whispering Pines Boulevard.

Concerns raised by the 13 residents that addressed the board on behalf of the crowd included the issues with traffic along Whispering Pines and its feeder streets, crowding of schools and school buses, danger to pedestrians due to speeders, the lack of sidewalks, flooding due to insufficient stormwater management, endangered species in the area, water quality, wetlands, green spaces for recreation and other concerns.

District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson said while all those issues are valid concerns the only issue before the board was whether or not to allow four additional houses.

Planning and Zoning Director Shawn Ward said there has already been a 44 lot subdivision plat approved for the property dating back to May 2016. Based on property development rights Killingsworth could move forward with permitting and building that layout without further board approval.

It was not until Killingsworth wanted to add four additional homes that a PUD plan became required.

Gathered residents said they were not made aware of the previous plat approval. No mention of the existing plans was made during the Zoning Board meeting held on the issue several weeks prior.

Resident Charles Harris said he thought it seemed underhanded not to let the people know about this until now.

But Commissioners Williamson and Bob Cole both stated that Killingsworth had rights to develop his land in accordance with county laws.

Resident Carmen Reynolds said either way, the development would be detrimental.

“Having the right and doing what’s right are two very different things,” she said.

Williamson pointed out that many of the issues presented by the gathered citizens were not the fault of Killingsworth or his development but instead a lack of planning years ago.

He made a motion to approve the four additional homes, but without any support from his fellow commissioners, the motion died.

The board denied Killingsworth’s application, but the right to develop his land with 44 homes still stands.

 

 

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