UPDATE: Construction is underway in Rachel’s Place. Learn more and see current listings here.
The New Hanover Board of Commissioners has just approved the rezoning of 46 acres off Blue Clay Road, a proposed 154-lot residential subdivision by Rachel Trask Gonsalves Heirs called Rachel’s Place. The development is being labeled a performance residential subdivision, because it’s not limited on lot size, but home density. This is why the land needed to be rezoned from R-20 to R-10 – to allow for more homes per acre. A performance based design provides the developers more flexibility for home plans and lot layout, but generally means smaller lots. The developers claim this is a more modern approach to neighborhood design, because buyers no longer want large yards.
The developers originally asked for rezoning in October 2015, but were denied, because the commissioners didn’t feel the proposal was thorough enough. In December, the developers presented a site plan to the New Hanover County Planning Board and they approved it unanimously, but with some stipulations that include aesthetic changes, a multi-use path, and improved access to the community recreation area. You can see the details here.
Current residents in the area have expressed concerns about traffic congestion once the development is built, but a traffic study was conducted and approved by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization. It showed that traffic patterns would be acceptable. Developers plan on adding a road between Holland Drive and Blue Clay Road, which they hope will ease congestion.
While rezoning was a major step in the development of Rachel’s Place, this does not mean that the developers can start the project. They must make the changes requested by the planning board, apply for permits, and present it to the technical review board. This will take months, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the project to see if it comes to fruition.
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