New Bern Planning and Zoning approves plan for new phases of Craeberne Forest construction


Craeberne Forest subdivision in New Bern, N.C.
Plans are moving ahead for phases three and four development at Craeberne Forest, despite concerns about the lack of access roads into the subdivision.

The New Bern Planning and Zoning Board has given initial approval for the next phases of development in Craeberne Forest. 

During their Dec. 5 meeting the board voted in favor of a general plan for Craeberne Forest phases three and four that was submitted by BRD Land & Investment. The development consists of 15 land parcels totaling 267.10 acres that will be used for a planned residential development. 

Kendrick Stanton, Land & Community Development administrator, told the board that phases three and four will subdivide the 15 existing parcels into 613 parcels. He said the proposed subdivision had been reviewed by the city’s Development Review Committee and had been found to meet the requirements set forth in the city’s Land Use Ordinance.

The land parcels belong to McCullough Farms, LLC and P&J of New Bern LLC, both of which are owned by Patrick McCullough, according to the Craven County GIS Map. 

The property is currently zoned R-10, R-10A, R-6, which allows for residential development.  

In September 2022, McCullough applied to rezone 413 acres of undeveloped property adjacent to Craeberne Forest. That property has since been annexed into the City of New Bern. 

The first two phases of construction for Craeberne Forest consisted of 283 homes. The preliminary plan calls for the creation of 444 single family lots and 165 townhome lots. There was discussion of one lot having 348 multifamily apartments.

According to Allison Engebretson, a landscape planner with Paramounte Engineering of Wilmington, construction on the next phase is expected to begin in 2025, at approximately the same time that the Department of Transportation is expected to begin work on the planned N.C. 43 connector project. 

During last week’s Planning and Zoning Board meeting, several members raised concerns about the lack of access roads into the growing subdivision. Currently, residents of Craeberne Forest and those living in 202 houses in Acadia Village and Trent Creek subdivisions use Trent Creek Road off of U.S. 17 as their only access road. 

Board member Raymond Layton noted that the fire marshal had requested a secondary fire department access road into the area.

Board member Margie Dunn echoed his concerns.

“I’m not opposed to growth, but I’m just concerned with such a large proposal laid out here, there’s still some unknowns I’d like to have more clarity on,” she commented. 

Engebretson said developers were working on several different alignments for an access road that were not included in the general plan presented last week but will be part of the finalized plan.

Traffic Engineer Randall Stephenson said he is currently working with NCDOT officials on a traffic study of the area. He said once construction is completed the primary access point for the development will be along N.C. 43.

NCDOT has been planning to extend N.C. 43 from U.S.17 Business in New Bern to south of U.S. 70/U.S. 17. The $27 million project will create an extension from U.S. 17 that will connect from Trent Creek Road to the south of U.S. 70. The project is proposed as a four-lane, median-divided highway. The plan also calls for Trent Creek Road to be widened to four lanes.

The proposed plan also illustrates a Fire/EMS lot, five wetland areas, 13 stormwater ponds, and two amenity lots if subdivided.

View the meeting agenda and packet here.

By Todd Wetherington and Wendy Card co-editors. Send an email with questions or comments.