Lincoln County commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning on Monday night to allow what will be the county’s largest subdivision – 1,650 homes near Lake Norman geared to adults 55 and older.
The rezoning will let Arizona-based Shea Homes build its Carolina Ridge development on 589 primarily wooded acres on the south side of N.C. 73 west of Little Egypt Road in eastern Lincoln County, near N.C. 16.
“It’s going to put Lincoln County on the map, and I’d like to thank y’all for considering us,” commissioner Carl Robinson said.
Commissioners voted after the Lincoln County Planning Board unanimously recommended the rezoning, which also happened Monday night.
The community, several miles southwest of the lake, will be one of the largest older adult communities in the 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 has said.
Carolina Ridge hopes to begin construction this year and finish the community by 2021, said Walter Fields, a Charlotte-based consultant for the project. All but 300 of the homes in Carolina Ridge will be age-restricted.
At least 30 percent of the site will be left undeveloped. Walking and bike trails are planned.
The planning board endorsed the rezoning even though the developer and a neighboring rock quarry failed to agree over issues including how far the developer should separate Carolina Ridge from the quarry. The planning board wanted such differences settled before it voted.
“At this point in time, we’ll let the second-largest development (of its kind in the Carolinas) happen next to us,” quarry lawyer Craig Justus told the planning board. “If they want a buffer, great, but we’re not going to tell them what they should do. If they want to build right up to the property line, so be it. ... We’re just going to hope for the best.”
Fields told the planning board that discussions over a berm and other issues will continue between Shea Homes and the quarry.