What To Expect In Holly Ridge In 2023
The secret is out... the Topsail area is growing at a very fast pace. Landowners who have not been willing to sell their land in the past are now reacting to the market and selling. A misconception that I hear a lot is that Holly Ridge shouldn't allow "such and such" businesses to open. "We don't need another x," is a statement I hear a lot. The truth is, for the most part, the Town cannot dictate what type of businesses can be built and opened up in the Town as long as it fits within zoning guidelines. Simply put, if someone owns the land and thinks a particular business will do well, they are free to open up that business.
Through zoning, the town of Holly Ridge is dictating the road frontage properties being developed on Hwy 17 and Hwy 50 be commercial rather than residential. If developers have a large lot on one of the two highways and want to develop, they need to put commercial on the road and then any residential projects behind them. It is up to the developer to figure out what businesses to attract to their lot whether it be a restaurant, gas station, grocery store, shopping center, etc...
As the Town continues to grow, entrepreneurs will continue to identify needs within the community and open businesses to fill those needs.
Here are some of the highlights of what you should see in 2023 in Holly Ridge:
* Atlantic Seafood is moving its freezer and shipping & receiving from Hampstead to the Camp Davis Industrial Park. They will keep their existing retail location in Hampstead.
* Oceans RV Park will have its grand opening of the RV park in January. They have 224 spaces available for short-term RV's as well as tiny homes to rent. The amenities include pickleball, workout facility, in-ground pool, fire pit, and a dog park.
* A bathroom at Morris Landing down on the ICW.
* A bigger and better Liberty Festival which will once again take place on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend.
* Holly Ridge Municipal Park improvements as we pursue and receive grants.* More affordable housing is being built to support the ever-growing military community * Camp Davis Industrial Park growth which will lead to more jobs. Another thing I am excited about is how often I am approached by developers asking what type of recreation activities and facilities Holly Ridge needs. I anticipate more and more opportunities to play in Holly Ridge to add to our park, water access, and Paradise Axe and Arcade. Now let's briefly talk about infrastructure... * Roads: The Town is in constant contact with NC DOT about the growing need for improvements on Hwy 17 and Hwy 50. They own and maintain the highways, but we are ensuring we are on their radar and not being forgotten. An audit is being done during Q1 of 2023 of all the roads the Town of Holly Ridge maintains to prioritize road repairs and resurfacing efforts. * Schools: Coastal Elementary school is now open and serving our community. Just this year, the Onslow County Commissioners put aside 3% of their budget for building schools and I expect they will continue that in future budgets to try to meet the need for more schools across Onslow County. * Water and Sewer: ONWASA is building a new 1.5 million gallons per day waste treatment facility in Holly Ridge. The project is currently in the design and permitting phase with an anticipated opening date of 2025. ONWASA is also looking into areas where more wells can be dug to ensure we have a reliable source of water as the population increases. As the word spreads about the Topsail area more people will visit and some will decide this is where they want to move to. Holly Ridge is not the same town it was 10 years ago, and it will look different 10 years from now. The Town Council is having to solve problems today that it has never had to solve in the past. If given the choice between trying to solve problems with empty and abandoned buildings OR figuring out how to grow responsibly, I'll choose growth problems every time.
Mayor Jeff Wenzel Town of Holly Ridge, NC
All aerial photos by Jeff Wenzel