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Planning Commission To Consider Modified Traffic Plan For Harris Teeter

Featured Planning Commission To Consider Modified Traffic Plan For Harris Teeter

Updated plan for a new Harris Teeter Store to be built on North Lake Park Blvd in Carolina Beach. The Planning Commission will consider a request to modify an existing permit for the project. The change focuses on the design of the entrance to the store and fuel station. A previous plan called relocating an existing traffic light to the new entrance but now the light will  remain at the entrance to the adjacent Federal Point Shopping Center.  (Lake Park Blvd appears at bottom of image).

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a proposal to modify a Conditional Use Permit to construct a new Harris Teeter Store on North Lake Park Blvd during their March 9th, meeting. The modification concerns changing the previously proposed traffic pattern requiring relocation of a nearby traffic light-intersection and instead leaving the existing light at the entrance of adjacent Federal Point Shopping Center.

The Town Council first approved of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a new 53,000 square foot Harris Teeter Store and Fuel Station 1000 N. Lake Park Blvd during their August 11th, 2015 meeting.

In April of 2016 the Council approved of  a request to modify the permit to accommodate traffic pattern changes.
At that time updated plans were submitted to the Planning Department showing a new traffic pattern on North Lake Park Blvd. Town officials had been communicating with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) on a traffic pattern. The issue was whether or not raised concrete medians would be required on Lake Park Blvd and concerns from area business owners and residents about negative impacts of restricting traffic flow in that area. NCDOT officials changed their position and said that hard-medians would not be required for a new intersection at the entrance to the project. Updated plans showed a traffic pattern that did not require raised medians restricting traffic flow to area businesses.

Instead, painted medians will be used. The plan also called for relocating the existing traffic light at the entrance of the neighboring Federal Point Shopping Center south to the new entrance of the Harris Teeter project.

Part of the plan required a portion of the front of the adjacent Wings Store property to accommodate a turn lane and widening Lake Park Blvd in that area.

The Council approved of modifying that plan in April 2016.

Following that approval Ted Barnes of Barnes Development Company sent a letter to Nancy Gibrano of The Wings Group of New York, NY.

Barnes wrote, "We've confirmed the plans approved by the Town of Carolina Beach and the North Carolina Department of Transportation require a small bit of right of way, 0.036 acres, between your curb and North Lake Park Blvd from your parcel to be dedicated as right of way as required by NC DOT. I understand you have expressed concern that no formal offer has been presented for this portion of your property."

Barnes wrote, "It is our understanding, subsequent to discussions with the Town and NC DOT, that any future redevelopment of your property will require you to make the same improvements (i.e., sidewalk and future ROW dedication) to this 0.036 acre portion we are required to make. So, in essence, this portion of your property does not provide future value to you. However, please accept this as a formal offer of $10,000 (equivalent of slightly more than $275k per acre) for this small portion of your property. In addition, HT will pay your reasonable closing costs associated with the transaction."

Gibrano replied to Barnes via email writing, "In good faith we entertained your group's request and all I've seen thus far is a legal bill for our thorough due diligence on the impact this request would have on our property with its use and zoning codes for the as is and future uses. (We were in the midst of our peak season -dedicated time and resources to the request-) Our concern was the short and long term impact to our business, the land use itself etc. Based on the foregoing, it is ownership's final decision not to entertain a sale of a portion of the property. HT should pursue other avenues. We wish you luck with your project."

Without the 0.036 acre of land, the traffic plan will have to be modified again.

Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison said last month, "They plan on keeping the light in same place and not moving it.  This would result in not having to buy the property in front of the Wings.  It would constitute a CUP modification."
Harris Teeter representatives will go before the Planning Commission at their March 9th meeting and go before the Town Council in April for approval of the modified plan.

The existing light at the entrance to the Federal Point Shopping Center will not be relocated to the entrance of the new Harris Teeter.

Instead, updated plans show a northbound turn lane in front of Harris Teeter with a median dividing the entrance restricting traffic to right turn into the parking lot and right turns leaving the parking lot onto North Lake Park Blvd.