WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — City Council met tonight, and the future of Wilmington was front and center.
On the agenda was how to regulate the growth of Wilmington’s suburban areas. A decision was made, but everyone was not in agreement.
Council sparred over how to address a new zoning classification, urban mixed use, which would essentially allow taller, larger structures to come to more suburban parts of Wilmington. Some of council was concerned this was rushed through to provide zoning for the Galleria shopping center recently acquired by the city from Wrightsville Beach. Council was supposed to zone the property tonight to be in line with state statute, and they wanted to zone it under the new classification. Some council members were just not comfortable with the speed of the decision.
“I appreciate the effort. It just was done too fast,” Councilman Kevin O’Grady said. “I think as you saw tonight there’s a number of questions about how it will apply, and we didn’t get any public input on it. We normally do.”
Despite the opposition the first reading of the urban mixed use classification was pushed through with a 4-2 vote. However the vote on zoning the Galleria shopping center was pushed back until the next meeting, which will be outside of the 60-day time limit. This means the city will be in violation of state statute, as the property will remain unzoned.
The city says as of tonight they cannot speak to exactly what that will mean.