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Real Estate - Commercial

Rezoning Could Bring 123 Townhomes To Growing Leland Corridor

By Emma Dill, posted Mar 25, 2024
A site plan shows a proposed 123-townhome development proposed along Highway 133 in Leland. (Image courtesy of Thomas & Hutton)
A rezoning that could bring more than 120 new townhomes to a growing part of Leland will go before town planning leaders on Monday.

The requested zoning change from applicant Thomas and Hutton LLC could bring 123 townhome lots to nearly 19 acres along N.C. 133. The area is seeing an uptick residential development with more than 1,400 other residential units pending or under construction nearby, according to town leaders.

The proposed project, which plans refer to as the Mallory Creek Townhomes, would cover four land parcels currently owned by Mallory Creek Land and Timber Inc. and Mallory Creek Plantation HOA, Inc. Plans include an amenity center, two stormwater ponds and close to 10 acres of open space. 

The land is currently zoned for general commercial business, a designation that allows for a range of retail and services development. Developers are asking town leaders to rezone the land into a multi-family conditional zoning district.

In planning documents, the developers say the proposed project will complement the adjacent subdivisions, including the Mallory Creek community. They say the proposal fits with development patterns along the Highway 133 corridor and its compact footprint will help provide more open space for on-site drainage and recreation, according to planning documents.

However, Leland's planning staff are recommending denial of the proposed rezoning because of the traffic the project would generate, inconsistencies with town ordinances and the Leland 2045 plan, increasing residential development nearby and the limited commercial zoning available within town limits.

According to planning documents, the rezoning is expected to generate more traffic onto Highway 133 than if the land is developed for commercial use because many of the commercial trips would be made to and from adjacent neighborhoods. 

The commercially zoned site is also one of just a handful in the town’s limits. Of Leland’s more than 17,400 acres, just over 4% of the land is zoned for commercial development while more than 82% is zoned for residential building. 

“To support the needs of residents and be economically vibrant and resilient, Leland must ensure a balance of residential and commercially zoned property in appropriate areas,” staff state in planning documents. “The proposed rezoning would reduce the amount of available commercial land in the town and eliminate the majority of the only commercially zoned land in the vicinity of thousands of existing and pending residential units.”

Finally, the rezoning doesn’t align with Leland 2045, a document adopted in 2021 that aims to guide future development and land use. The Leland 2045 plan instead suggests that a neighborhood node with retail, offices and a mix of other uses should be established in the area where the townhomes are proposed. 

The Leland Planning Board will consider the proposal at its meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Leland Town Hall. The board will make comments and a recommendation on the rezoning before it goes to the Leland Town Council for a decision at a later date.
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