Surf City annexes approximately 40 acres of undeveloped land
SURF CITY — The Surf City City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a large swath of unincorporated land within the city limits.
The 38.48 acres are located in Topsail Township, which encompasses Surf City, Hampstead and Topsail Beach in Pender County – population 28,016. The land is owned by the Sullivan family.
A request for annexation was submitted by Henry Allen Sullivan, Cynthia Cooper Sullivan, Bonnie Jean and Kevin Sullivan, all co-trustees of the Richard Ray Sullivan Trust. The Sullivans are longtime landowners in Pender County and originally owned over 240 acres of land which now makes up Waterside, one of the largest residential developments in the county.
Located north of Hampstead between Belt Road and NC Highway 210 East on the mainland, the approximately 40 acres are now considered a contiguous annexation, previously zoned in Pender County as residential performance. This means that it was intended to allow for a variety of residential uses and densities, as well as limited commercial and agritourism activities.
The Sullivan family deeded a 1.2 acre portion of their property to Surf City Pet Hospital on August 4, 2021.
This petition was presented to council at a business meeting on January 21, where all were in favor of moving forward with the investigation into the bid.
“Once that happens, it goes to the planning board for recommendation on a zoning classification,” City Manager Kyle Breuer explained. “It needs to be zoned to come under our planning jurisdiction.”
At the March 1 meeting, council approved the annexation and zoning of the Multi-Family Group (MFC) – a neighborhood that is expected to be used primarily for residential development. Recommended zoning is consistent with Surf City’s current land use plan.
The caveat to becoming an MFC is that the necessary public water and adequate sewage disposal facilities must be available. It also still needs to protect open spaces and the natural environment. Lots in this zoning ordinance may have a maximum density of 10 units per acre and new development must leave 30% of the land open space.
Based on Surf City zoning ordinances, an MFC zone is permitted to include:
- Bed and breakfasts, inns, tourist residences and pensions
- Accessory buildings
- Community and recreation centers
- Hotels and motels
- Mixed buildings
- Religious institutions and schools
- Residential accommodations of different configurations
Waterside is also zoned MFC and includes nearly 3,000 properties slated to become homes, apartments and condos. Future plans also include a mixed-use commercial development.
Valued at $351,720, the 38.48 acres are currently undeveloped and touch portions of NC 210 near Walmart. It faces Tortuga Drive, where the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital is located, and is bordered by another large residential area.
It is unclear how the land will be used, as no plans have been presented to the city. Breuer said a development proposal would be the logical next step.
“The biggest benefit to the city is that it allows the city to control the growth that’s happening with our rules and regulations,” Breuer said.
Surf City will benefit from municipal property taxation and provide fire and police services.
Since 2019, Surf City has annexed an additional 10 acres to the city limits, 3.35 zoned mixed-use and 6.28 residential. Properties include:
- Nearly 2 acres along NC 50 near the county line, owned by real estate company Lynlee Properties
- 1.35 acres along NC 50 owned by Topsail Tide LLC
- 6.28 acres, owned by Topsail Tide LLC, along NC 210
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