Planning for future housing at former drive-in site runs into some issues


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



WILMINGTON — Planning for a proposed future housing development has hit some bumps in the road.

At Tuesday’s Wilmington City Planning Commission meeting, the developers of a housing project on North Lincoln Street — where the former drive-in theater is located — told commissioners about potential developments and setbacks with the project.

“We came to find out … the existing traffic, coupled with our traffic from this community, warranted a turn lane out on the main road on the exit,” said Jon Bills of DDC Management, the construction company behind the project.

He advised there are issues which include the current speed zone (55 mph) and that construction would dip into the creek crossing — if construction were to take place now. This means that they’d have to install a bridge or a culvert.

“This would result in a very expensive turn lane. Probably three or four times what a normal turn lane for a community of this size,” he said.

He hopes the Planning Commission will take into consideration seeing if the turn lane is unwarranted.

Bills also talked about developments involving increasing the neighborhood density — either townhouses or as planned unit developments (PUDs). This would lead to 113 residential units.

They were still working to determine if a higher density is needed or wanted.

The 28.6 acres would go from being zoned as a suburban neighborhood to a traditional neighborhood.

The drive-in last operated in 2015. The property is still owned by Chakeres Theatres, according to the Clinton County Auditor’s website, and is listed as “sale pending” by Coldwell Banker Heritage (formerly Bennett Realty).

Commissioners made no official decisions at the meeting.

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By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574