With the widening of N.C. 24 still months away, the impact in Clinton continues to be felt through housing developments that will take their place on both sides of the expanded roadway — another sizable venture, this one by George E. Wilson Family Enterprises LLC, was approved by City Council this week.
During a special meeting Thursday night, the Council approved Wilson’s 29-lot preliminary subdivision plat located along Sunset Avenue (N.C. 24). The 10.2 acres was rezoned by Council to R-8 Residential District in October 2013 and the Planning Board approved the subdivision plat last month. Council followed that lead unanimously during its special meeting.
Wilson gave an overview of his proposed subdivision, passing out brochures on The Village on Sunset that depicted the layout of the subdivision and the homes themselves.
“Tucked behind the pines just off of Sunset Avenue, The Village on Sunset sits adjacent to Coharie Country Club and across from Sampson Community College,” the brochure reads. “It is conveniently located within walking distance to many Clinton restaurants and shops. With access to the future expanded Highway 24, The Village on Sunset is just a short drive to I-95, I-40, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Wilmington.”
With the Council’s approval of the final plat Thursday those marketing pieces and others can be widely disseminated. The project is several years in the making, Wilson explained.
“We’re excited about the prospect of getting this project going,” said Wilson. “In 2009, we were going to start this project and I think all of us remember what happened to the economy by that time. So, we got our driveway in that went to nowhere for a few years. We feel like we’re at the point now where we can get started again.”
Engineers with Triangle Civil Works out of Smithfield have been working for about a year with Clinton Public Works and Utilities personnel. A 30-foot utility easement on Forest Drive will connect The Village development to city sewer and water service. There will be no physical connection with Coharie Country Club and The Village will be its own entity. Once the N.C. 24 work comes in to Clinton (construction is currently working its way east from Cumberland), The Village will hook onto the relocated utilities.
“We’re going to connect over on Forest Drive first,” Wilson said, noting the installation of an 8-inch water main. “Once 24 is all torn up and they remove the water lines and (relocate them), we will be able to hook into the main water line out there on 24. There will not be a (vehicle roadway) access to Coharie Country Club at all. The main and only entrance will be off of 24.”
The homes will be between 1,400-2,200 square feet, depending on the size of the lots, most of which are about one-fourth an acre, with a couple close to half an acre. They will be primarily 3 and 4-bedroom homes with two baths. Wilson said there could be some two-bedroom homes if there is a need identified for those, however that was not in the plans right now. All will have two-car garages, and most of them will also have a bonus room over the garage depending on the particular plan. Most of the homes will be built on a slab, so they will be ground level.
“This is designed as a 55-plus adult community, so we’re trying to make it so if you have to have a wheelchair later, or you have arthritis, you don’t have to go up steps,” Wilson noted, stating that the development may not be solely 55-plus. “That is the intent, but it is not restrictive.”
Along with the 29 lots designated for homes, there will be several open green spaces with big oak trees.
The Village on Sunset will have a homeowners association, through which a fee will be assessed to maintain every homeowner’s lawn, as well as those open space and common areas, trees, shrubs, walks and general landscape improvements. There will be some covenants, conditions and restrictions for the subdivision that are fairly general and similar to other developments.
Councilman Neal Strickland asked when Wilson anticipated starting the subdivision.
“Tomorrow,” he answered. “I mean we’ve already begun. We had to have a plat approved, and it was approved by the Planning Board and now it is here. We can’t do anything as far as marketing this until after the City Council (approves it). We can take deposits on lots and house plans, but we can’t close them until the final plat is approved by this board.”
Mayor Lew Starling offered a bit of trivia about the property across from SCC and Go Automotive, pointing out that the land was the previous site of J. Mack Moore’s race track decades ago. “That’s where he had his Hell Drivers during his fair,” Starling said. Wilson said there are three power poles still standing that have the old lights from night races.
New growth with N.C. 24 means the land will get new life with a development Wilson hopes is around for a long time. And city officials said even more growth is being planned as part of the construction.
Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary Rose noted that the plans called for a street to be stubbed out on the property adjoining the subdivision to the east “to provide inter-connectivity for future development on that side, if and when that occurs,” she said.
“I’m good at making roads that go nowhere,” Wilson said to laughs.
The approval of Wilson’s village came just a month after the Council unanimously approved a conditional use request by Greenway Residential Development, LLC to construct the 72-unit apartment complex along the 400 block of Overland Road, on 12.6 acres.
Growth is already well on its way and Wilson said after a multi-year delay, he is more than prepared.
“We’re sending the bid packages out to the contractors that can start our loads,” Wilson said. “We’re ready to go.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.