Beaufort planners file proposal for new subdivision after opposition from residents | News

BEAUFORT — City officials want more information and input from state agencies on a subdivision project that has drawn backlash from residents and environmentalists.

The town planning council met for its regular meeting on Monday at the Beaufort train depot. During the meeting, the board unanimously filed an application for preliminary flat approval for the Salt Wynd Preserve subdivision, asking developers Beaufort Agrihood Development LLC to provide an environmental impact statement, in accordance with the laws of state, and directing city staff to submit the dish application to the NC Division of Coastal Management for comment.

The proposed subdivision, if built, would consist of 47 single-family residential lots located on 37.06 acres off Pinners Point Road. During public comments, 13 participants spoke about the preliminary dish, with all but one opposing it.

Major concerns expressed by opponents of the subdivision include the risk of flooding at the proposed location, potential environmental effects on nearby Gibbs Creek, and the lack of state stormwater permits.

Resident Martha Kenworthy said she believed the subdivision plan, as submitted to city officials, was “incomplete”. She also thinks the homes would be at risk of flooding and there is no guarantee developers would use low-impact development.

“I believe we are at a tipping point in Beaufort,” Ms Kenworthy said, “where we need to promote responsible coastal development.”

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences resident and ecologist Dr. Hans Paerl said the submitted plan lacked a stormwater impact statement and did not comply with state rules on coastal stormwater.

“Until a (storm drain) system is designed to meet state standards, it will be impossible for the applicant to present to you a storm drain plan, as required to comply with the city’s stormwater ordinance,” Dr. Paerl said.

The proposed project has caught the attention of the Southern Environmental Law Center. SELC associate attorney Alex Hardee, who was present at Monday’s meeting, said he thought it was important that the preliminary plan be reviewed while taking into account the draft land use plan of the law on the management of the city’s coastal zones, which is still under development.

“Allowing this (dish) to pass under the old rules would defeat the purpose of (the land use plan),” Mr Hardee said.

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch also became interested in the project. Crystal Coast water guardian Rebecca Drohan was present at Monday’s meeting, asking the council to refuse the dish.

“Gibbs Creek is a public waterway,” she said. “As more and more waterways are closed (to shellfish fishing), it becomes more important to protect them.”

Attorney Eric Remington, who represents Beaufort Agrihood Development, was the only person at Monday’s meeting to speak in favor of approving the dish. Mr. Remington says he objects to the content of the comments made in opposition to the subdivision project.

“Your subdivision order is a departmental administrative process,” he said. “It’s basically a tick box system… all this talk about the new LUP project, the Resilient Beaufort plan… it’s all irrelevant and immaterial feedback that shouldn’t be taken into account. If you meet the criteria for the order, you are supposed to be approved.

Mr Remington went on to say that the people speaking who were not residents or representatives of organizations that do not own property in Beaufort did not have standing and should not have been allowed to comment , saying it was “very detrimental”. .”

These were not Mr. Remington’s only objections. Before discussing the preliminary plan, the planning board voted unanimously to move public comments from the meeting between approving the February 21 meeting minutes and discussing the proposed plan. Mr. Remington objected to this change in the agenda, saying the subdivision ordinance does not allow public comment before action on a preliminary plan and that changing the agenda would be “isolating » The Salt Wynd Project.

In response, council chairman Ryan Neve said the planning council’s public comment period at its regular meetings had only recently been moved past all business items. City attorney Arey Grady said moving public comments ahead of items for consideration is in accordance with council rules of procedure.

Monday’s planning board meeting was open to the public and was streamed online via Facebook livestream. The city’s public information officer, Rachel Johnson, said in an email to News-Times Tuesday’s meeting ran until 9 p.m., however, due to technical difficulties, the livestream cut off around 6:36 p.m. and did not resume.

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 2:36 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, to correct the image of the map associated with the article.

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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