State Officials Call For Changes To Traffic Pattern For Planned Harris Teeter

State Officials Call For Changes To Traffic Pattern For Planned Harris Teeter Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 11 November 2015 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  A permit approved by the Carolina Beach Town Council earlier this year for a new Harris Teeter on North Lake Park Blvd will "warrant additional review by Town Council" according to Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin.
 The Council unanimously approved of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a new 53,000 square foot Harris Teeter Store and Fuel Station at 1000 North Lake Park Blvd during their August 11th, meeting.
On November 9th, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) recommended changes for the traffic pattern approved by Council in August.
In June, BBM Associates Inc of Raleigh, NC, submitted full color renderings to the Town of Carolina Beach.
The artwork shows a 53,000 square foot store and a fuel station at 1000 North Lake Park Blvd. The location was formerly Jubilee Amusement Park which was demolished years ago to make way for a mixed-use condo and retail project that never  materialized before the real estate market collapsed.
The plans - submitted by Barnes Development Co. of Charlotte, NC - show a free standing 53,288 square foot Harris Teeter Store with 5,480 square foot area for future expansion. The total area of land to be developed is 7.10 acres. There will be 269 parking spaces and a fueling station near the entrance at 1000 North Lake Park Blvd. The entrance will be located across from Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage and will include a stop-light intersection with an added turn lane on the east side of the road for vehicles turning into Harris Teeter.
The plans show four areas where the vehicle access will be connected to the older Federal Point Shopping Center that was once home to Food Lion years ago before that store moved to the Snow's Cut Crossing Shopping Center at the foot of Snow's Cut Bridge leading into Carolina Beach. The off-site improvements to Lake Park Blvd include a relocation of the existing traffic signal at the Federal Point Shopping Center entrance to a new entrance that will service both Federal Point as well as this development. Cross access easements are being finalized between Jubilee Carolina and Federal Point’s owners to allow cross easement access between the two properties for both customer and service truck access, for the benefit of both properties.  As part of the access improvements, Lake Park Blvd will be widened to accommodate a dedicated left hand turn lane into the new entrance. To accommodate the widening, Jubilee Carolina will dedicate a portion of its frontage as right of way as well as work with NCDOT to obtain a small amount of right of way from the neighboring Wings parcel. Those improvements were outlined in a Traffic Impact Analysis prepared by Kimley-Horn and presented to NCDOT.
In August Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison said, "They are making significant traffic improvements in this area. One noticeable change will be the stoplight relocation. Currently it is between the ABC Store and the Wings. They will be locating it on the other side of the Wings Store to create a centralized access point to service both the Harris Teeter property and also Federal Point" shopping center.
There will also be points connecting the Harris Teeter property to the Federal Point property to provide interconnectivity. A five-foot wide sidewalk will be installed along Lake Park Blvd from the southern end of the property north to connect to an existing sidewalk in front of the ABC Store.
The project will include turn lanes on Lake Park Blvd to access the property at the stop light intersection.
On November 9th, Amy Kimes with the North Carolina Department of Transportation wrote to representatives of the project, "The WMPO, NCDOT and Carolina Beach staffs have reviewed the Harris Teeter development. We concur with the recommendations of the TIA (Traffic Impact Analysis) as stated below and shown on the attached site plan with the included additions (in red)."
The plan already calls for relocating the traffic signal at the Federal Point Shopping Center south on North Lake Park Blvd to a new location across from Coldwell Banker. Kimes letter included an additional comment stating, "Existing Federal Point Shopping Center Driveway will be restricted to a right-in/right out only" traffic pattern.
The new intersection would have traffic lights and provide a southbound left-turn lane with 200 feet of turn lane. It would also provide a west-bound left turn lane with 200 feet of lane. Kimes additional comments include providing a median island along North Lake Park Blvd "as required by the NCDOT Driveway Permit" and, "Provide north-bound right-turn lane with 175 feet of storage and a 100 foot taper. Close/remove the existing driveway located on the west side of North Lake Park Blvd that is within the intersection."
The driveway recommended to be closed or removed is at the Pleasure Island Plaza on the west side of Lake Park Blvd.
Kimes wrote, "Restrict Bennett Lane to a right-in/right-out/left-in only" intersection.
Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin explained Monday, "We just received NCDOT recommendations today and will likely have more comments for Harris teeter. No changes are proposed to the site plan itself, but the requested changes to vehicular traffic will warrant additional review by town council."
Mayor Dan Wilcox explained, "I expect the nature of the proposed changes will require additional council discussion and most likely an additional public hearing."

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