WILMINGTON — The breaking of ground is in sight after the construction plans for Phase 1 of the Bill Marine Estates Subdivision were approved by the Wilmington City Planning Commission (CPC).
After the CPC meeting, landowner Bill Marine said there are three local contractors interested in buying lots and building the first three houses.
Phase 1 has 32 building lots, and Phase 1 will include an entrance/exit on Prairie Avenue.
“We just want to get the project going,” said Marine.
The final two readings of legislation to rezone the entire site of the proposed subdivision off Prairie Avenue is on the Thursday, Sept. 5 agenda of Wilmington City Council. That’s when council presumably will vote whether to change the zoning of the 109-acre parcel from “Rural Residential” to “Suburban Neighborhood”.
At the Tuesday CPC session, Dave and Mary Ann Marko voiced concerns about the traffic generated by a new residential subdivision off Prairie Avenue.
Mary Ann Marko asked, “What kind of traffic are we going to get on Florence [Avenue]? We get traffic right now from Prairie.”
Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth replied it would neither decrease nor increase traffic on Florence Avenue. He went on to add that the City has plans for Florence Avenue that will help the existing traffic situation on that residential street.
At a July CPC meeting, there were comments about the potential impact the residential development may have upon traffic on Prairie Avenue.
CPC member David Hockaday in July said there may be a need for a drop-off lane on Prairie Avenue by the time the subdivision is completed. And Wilmington Service Director Brian A. Shidaker said Prairie Avenue is not as wide in that area and there are traffic concerns regarding what kind of traffic Prairie Avenue can withstand without making adjustments.
At the Tuesday meeting, Stanforth said there are not enough lots in Phase 1 to justify a professional traffic study, and so no study will be conducted for Phase 1. But if and when a Phase 2 is contemplated, then that would require such a study, added the mayor.
CPC member Darrell Powell noted the latest plans indicate that width has been added to the right-of-way on the north side of Prairie Avenue to accommodate increased future traffic, for example, for a potential turn lane.
Another issue that occupied CPC attention at the July meeting was the matter of sidewalks, namely who will pay for the construction of sidewalks. Shidaker said Tuesday it will be the property owner’s responsibility.
When an individual buys a building lot, he or she has 12 months from the date of transfer to put in a sidewalk. If the property owner does not comply with the 12-month deadline, then the City will send a notice to them requiring them to install a sidewalk.
If the notice is ignored, the City then will go ahead and put a sidewalk in and assess the cost of the sidewalk work onto the owner’s property taxes.
A deed restriction will stipulate the 12-month sidewalk construction deadline as a means to enforce the building of sidewalks in the residential subdivision.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.