WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of people showed up at tonight’s New Hanover County Commission meeting. On the agenda, everything from school bonds to special use permits.
The agenda item that brought everyone out was a hearing to discuss the way special use permits are approved. The County Commission in a tie vote, which killed the plan, decided they will not be making changes to the process at this time.
The county planners said loosening the restrictions on the existing permitting process would make it making the process easier for new and existing businesses. Opponents to the changes said they overlooked environmental restrictions and favor big business over the public at large.
Also on the agenda was the approval of $160 million worth of school bonds to be on the ballot in November. The school system requested the bonds as a way to fund 14 high-priority projects, including a new elementary school and renovations to existing school buildings.
“I think the voters, the parents in the county and other concerned citizens, they realize the importance of the education system,” New Hanover County School Board Chair Don Hayes said. “I think we have a good system here, a growing system, and any time you grow, I think you’re going to have additional needs.”
County Commission Chair Woody White acknowledged the improvements will cost property taxpayers in the end. It could increase property taxes about four cents for every $100.
The voters, of course, will make the final decision in November.