Northampton County approves request to convert trailer park into single family housing

April 10, 2024
Cedar Grove Drive Northampton County

Picture courtesy of Google Street View.

The Northampton County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to turn a 3.1 acre parcel on Cedar Grove Drive in lower Northampton County, which currently holds a house and several trailers, into lots for single family housing Tuesday night.

The applicant, Dimitri Hionis, also initially asked for 2.7 acres of a farm he owns along Seaside Road to be carved out for additional housing. This piece of the plan was not recommended by staff or the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission did recommend approval of the 3.1 acre parcel in a 4-3 vote. However, the three nay votes, Andre Wiggins, Sarah Morgan and Stephanie Castro wrote a dissenting opinion in writing and sent it to the Board by way of Zoning Administrator Susan McGhee.

According to counsel for the Hionis family, the lots will be approximately a half acre apiece with two story houses in the 1,200 to 1,500 square foot range at a targeted price point of $225,000. Josie Hionis, another partner in the venture, said the plan is to sell the houses and, if they do not sell, they plan to rent them long term.

Thirteen residents spoke against the plan. Among the issues raised included preserving the agricultural nature of the community in accordance with the comprehensive plan, that approval would be spot zoning, that children would fall into neighboring ponds and that the houses would eventually become short term rentals. A petition was presented with 500 signatures against approval of the project.

In speaking in favor of the Planning Commission’s recommendation, Commissioner Glen Anders argued that only one of the petition signers was an affected adjacent land owner and that the area in question was zoned for residential development in the 2000 Comprehensive Plan.

Supervisor John Coker argued the Hionis family could bulldoze the trailers tomorrow and Northampton would lose housing units as a result. Coker added he didn’t want to see Northampton lose any housing units and made a motion to approve the recommendation of the Planning Commission. The roll call vote passed 4-1 with Chairwoman Mapp voting nay.

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