Wilmington council greenlights Lumina Townhomes project

by Sam Wilson
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wilmington City Council gave the green light for Lumina Townhomes IV, a planned mixed-use development behind Lumina Station, at its Sept. 3 meeting.

Josh Mihaly, the applicant representing current property owner Jim Wallace, said the original plan for a condominium complex was approved on Oct. 7, 2008, and had allowed for the construction of a series of 45-foot condominiums. However, the plans were shelved after the housing recession and the property was ultimately sold to Wallace, who said it “felt like the condos didn’t work in this environment.”

The new plan includes 22 townhomes, along with a 6,000-square foot office building facing the road. Allens Lane, currently a dirt road servicing a few residential properties, will cut between the residential and office parcels and be improved by the developers up to the final residential driveway.

The office space, totaling 8,000-square feet in the original plan, was reduced to comply with parking requirements, Mihaly said. He added that a series of smaller, 2-bedroom units will form a wall along the eastern side of the residential space.

Referring to the plan developed by architect Michael Kersting, Mihaly said the design of the buildings will “utilize some of the existing architecture from Lumina Station, kind of modernized with a twist.”

Another public hearing addressed an ordinance to rezone a 16-acre portion of industrial land in the fast-growing Randall Parkway corridor to a multi-family, medium density district for which 204 multi-family apartment units are planned. After indicating that his company’s involvement in the rezoning request would pose a conflict of interest, councilmember Charlie Rivenbark recused himself from the discussion.

Attorney Michael Lee spoke in opposition, representing AJELM LLC and citing the industrial zoning surrounding 316 Marlboro St. as evidence the area is not truly “in transition.” He said the proposed land use plan could be in conflict with future industrial development, calling the proposed zoning a “donut hole.”

Jonathan Washburn, speaking in favor of the proposal, rebutted that the owner, RPC Holdings LLC, envisioned compatible uses with the remaining property, which would remain industrial. Speaking for the developers, Cindee Wolf also responded, saying the developers had gone “above and beyond” the requirements for such elements as parking and impervious surfaces. Citing the need for councilwomen Laura Padgett and Margaret Haynes to voice their opinions on the matter, councilmember Kevin O’Grady made a motion to move the request to the next meeting, which passed unanimously.

The final public hearing item, a request for 5.96 acres of residential and multi-family residential, low density land to be rezoned multi-family, medium density, was also continued to the next meeting. The five present councilmembers would not have been able to vote on the measure because a protest petition had been filed, requiring a supermajority of at least six councilmembers.

email sam@luminanews.com

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