MOUNT PLEASANT — A 46-acre tract owned by Seacoast Church could be one of this town’s newest neighborhoods, with as many as 119 homes.
Town Council’s Planning Committee voted 3-1 Monday to recommend downzoning the property to single-family, a move that would allow developer D.R. Horton to proceed with building homes off Seacoast Parkway, near Interstate 526.
The rezoning comes after previous efforts to develop the property for a business use failed because of pressure from residents in the neighboring Grassy Creek subdivision.
The property is currently zoned for economic development.
Councilwoman Linda Page cast the sole vote against the change.
“If the goal of Mount Pleasant is to follow the town’s comprehensive plan and truly become a live-work community, we’re going to have to have building sites like that available to put businesses there,” she said. “We want to do work-live. We don’t want to be a suburb of somewhere else.”
Councilman Chris Nickels is not a member of the Planning Committee, but attended the meeting and said he supports the committee’s recommendation. Nickels and other council members will vote on the issue when it comes before full council on June 11.
“The committee was concerned about traffic but felt single-family homes would be good neighbors to single-family homes,” he said.
Tricia Zehr, who lives nearby, said the economic development zoning is a better fit because its peak traffic would occur at different times and because it would include a 40-foot buffer. The town requires no buffers between residential subdivisions.
“We would not have even looked at this house if the adjacent property was zoned residential,” she said, “We will go from large, mature pine trees, to looking straight into someone’s back windows.”
Mayor Billy Swails also said he is inclined to support the change.
“This one is really a Catch 22. The neighborhood doesn’t really want economic development. They say they do, but they had the chance a year ago and defeated it,” Swails said. “You can’t continue to tell someone what they can’t do with their property.”
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.