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That lady at the end...

was one of the few people to stand up to Thompson and do so with ferocity. Thompson probably deserved that lashing for calling a room full of people liars but he's probably not entirely incorrect. I sense that a lot of people believe these ordinance changes will stop Titan and that's why the base of support for the ordinance changes was so vocal. It might stop the next Titan but unfortunately, if history is any indicator, all the angry crowds you can muster won't usually get a no vote on most development projects. Unless a new type of candidate emerges in all future elections and wins, you'll see future boards listen patiently and then vote yes on these future special use permits with a rubber stamp.

Thompson made an important point when he said that because these industrial projects will be special uses, you can no longer email, call, talk to in person, etc commissioners before the vote. You can only show up the night of the vote and rant to a future board that will pretend to listen before they vote yes. For this reason, the opponents of the revisions were grasping at straws in their attempts to paint these changes as job killers. If a good company wants to establish operations in New Hanover County, a fact based special use permit process won't discourage them - especially given the commissioner's history of voting yes. The board has to consider facts/data and not the emotions of an angry crowd and upset nearby land owners. It's a very good thing that these industrial uses can no longer begin operations without a public hearing (to shine some light on the project if nothing else) but the idea that a public hearing will stop most of them is laughable. But that is up to the voters and who they elect in the future.


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