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Lincoln County continues hearing on 200-home development

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 this week to continue a public hearing on Essex Homes’ plans to build up to 200 single-family homes on 70 acres in the eastern part of the county.

The property is east of N.C. Highway 16 Business and slightly south of Sarah Drive.

Essex Homes has said it will donate an additional 17 acres to Lincoln County for an elementary school.

Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins said the commissioners opted, in part, to continue the hearing until March 7 to provide time for Lincoln County Schools to strongly indicate whether or not it wants to build a school on the adjacent property.

Essex Homes said at a Jan. 21 community meeting that it would not build a commercial development on the 17 acres if the school system declined the land offer. Concerns were raised at the meeting about the proposed project’s potential for increased traffic and parking problems.

The developer is seeking a rezoning to planned residential development from single-family residential. Essex Homes plans to set aside 25 percent of the property for recreational activities and open space. Amenities would include a community pool and outdoor covered pavilion.

Essex says the project would be built in four phases, with phase one’s construction of 49 homes slated to begin in spring 2017. Homes are expected to range from 1,850 square feet to 3,500 square feet, with prices starting above $250,000.

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