A developer is proposing to build Lincoln County’s largest subdivision several miles southwest of Lake Norman – 1,650 homes geared mostly toward adults 55 and older.
Carolina Ridge is planned for 589 primarily wooded acres on the south side of N.C. 73 west of Little Egypt Road in eastern Lincoln, near four-lane N.C. 16. Arizona-based Shea Homes intends to begin construction in 2014 and finish the community by 2021.
In 2006, PulteGroup proposed a similar development on the same acreage, but the recession hit, and the project never began, Lincoln County zoning administrator Randy Hawkins said.
Carolina Ridge will also be one of the largest older adult communities in the Charlotte area. The largest, Sun City Carolina Lakes in Fort Mill and Indian Land, S.C., has about 2,900 homes, with plans for 3,400 eventually, a spokeswoman said.
All but up to 300 of the homes in Carolina Ridge will be age-restricted – reflecting the aging of the nation’s baby boomers, those born from 1946 to 1964.
“I think we’re seeing the biggest transition in housing since World War II,” Carolina Ridge consultant Walter Fields said Tuesday. “Some 10,000 people a day are turning 65 years old.”
Carolina Ridge plans to have a mix of single-family attached and detached homes from 1,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet, according to a report submitted to Lincoln County by Fields’ Charlotte-based consulting group. Streets will have sidewalks on one side. Standard single-family detached home lots will be 3,000 square feet.
Most of the property is owned by members of the Clark family and their land-development companies, according to incorporation records on file with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office in Raleigh. The family has been among the largest landholders in eastern Lincoln County for many decades.
At least 30 percent of the site will be left undeveloped, Fields’ report says. Walking and/or bike trails are planned.
The community’s clubhouse will include room for social gatherings, health and wellness programs, pools, golf simulators, billiards, a fitness center, and possibly spa and food-and-beverage services.
Carolina Ridge also will have an area for recreational vehicles and boat storage.
Streets will exit onto N.C. 73 and Little Egypt Road. The topography of the land is such that no streets will be straight, Fields said.
Fields’ report cites data from the Institute of Transportation Engineers that the average trips generated per home on an average weekday in an active adult community is roughly 40 percent of those in a traditional single-family detached community.
Shea Homes has scheduled a community involvement meeting for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Unity Presbyterian Church, 8210 Unity Church Road, Denver, to provide information about its plans and receive public comments.
The county is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing on the developer’s rezoning request at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton.
Marusak: 704-987-3670; Twitter: @jmarusak
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