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Wilmington Eyes Development Rules Rollback

Land the city identified as areas for potential redevelopment in the Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan in 2016. Graphic: Port City Daily graphic/Courtesy City of Wilmington

WILMINGTON — The city’s planning commission is expected to take on two proposed rollbacks of environmental protections Wednesday. The meeting is at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 102 N. Third St.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing to address an amendment request to the city that could potentially ease regulations in the Conservation Overlay District, allowing for development that includes piers, docks, bulkheads and gazebos, Port City Daily reported.

The city staff recommends denying the request by Daniel Shirley of Overbeck Marine, a marine construction company based in Wilmington.

The planning commission is also expected to consider a significant change to stormwater standards for redevelopment projects, Port City Daily reported. Developers have objected to Wilmington’s stormwater regulations that were established in 2009 to benefit and improve water quality.  

The proposed amendment, billed as an incentive for redevelopment, deletes the following sentence from the Land Development Code:

“Whenever the modification results in placement of newly constructed impervious surface over any existing surface such that the newly constructed impervious area equals or exceeds fifty (50) percent of the total impervious surface area, then the entire site shall be required to comply with this article,” Section 18-735(b)4 states.

If the planning commission approves the code change, the city council could consider it Aug. 7.

Wilmington is covered by around 28 percent impervious surface area. At 10 percent, water quality in surrounding wetlands streams and lakes is negatively affected, according Create Wilmington Comprehensive Plan. At 25 percent impervious surface coverage, the plan finds that waterways are no longer able to support healthy aquatic systems.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.