The Leland Planning Board voted this week to refuse a homebuilder’s national site plan for 232 townhouses in Brunswick Forest.
DR Horton wants to build the townhouses on property along Kay Todd Road in Brunswick Forest, a planned community with nearly 4,700 acres off US 17 in Leland.
On August 18, the Leland City Council approved an amendment to its ordinances that, among other things, allows administrative approval of site-specific plans and master land use plans. But because the DR Horton townhouse project was already under consideration, homebuilder officials could choose to have their plan approved by the city’s planning board.
In a 5-2 vote, the planning committee on Tuesday evening rejected the Site Specific Plan (SSP) and updated master land use plan as submitted after some council members and the City staff have expressed concerns about the plan’s street connectivity. DR Horton called for a reduction in the number of connections required “based on the presence of jurisdictional wetlands along the western boundary of the project”, according to the agenda documents.
The SSP has now shown connections along the western boundary of the project, according to the documents.
The two planning board members who voted against the denial were Alan Kerry and Stephen Whitney, both of whom were keen to start the discussion on the DR Horton project by explaining what their perceived connections to the project might be.
“As many of you may know, I was directly involved in the development of Brunswick Forest and was then President of the real estate division of Lord Baltimore capital. In this capacity, I worked directly with them on all aspects of development About five years ago I retired from Lord Baltimore but since then I’m still a consultant and still am today for Lord Baltimore on two of their projects, one of them being Brunswick Forest,” Kerry said during Tuesday night’s meeting.
He said while he was aware of and indirectly involved in the sale of certain land to DR Horton, “I was not involved at all, directly or indirectly, on that particular plot.”
Whitney said he had a consulting agreement with a developer of a property that is immediately adjacent to the potential townhouse site, but would not be compensated in any way as a result of Tuesday’s decision. In addition to not being compensated based on the outcome of the vote, Whitney and Kerry agreed that they could perform their duties as planning board members to act in the public interest based on the facts, criteria and code. of Leland.
Ben Andrea, director of planning and inspections for the town of Leland, said in an email Wednesday that the planning board’s decision does not kill the DR Horton project, and that the homebuilder can revise the plan and submit it. again.
“The sign-in requirement is required under the city’s ordinances code both before and after the recent change,” he said, “so that the revised SSP can be approved by staff or council. town planning.”
An effort to get more information from DR Horton about the future of the project was not immediately successful on Wednesday.