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Progress made in revitalizing Carolina Beach

Talk of revitalizing Carolina Beach's central business district has been in the works for years. Wednesday night, they continued to talk, but it felt more like progress. It's been decades since Carolina Beach first put plans in motion to re-build it's boardwalk and downtown area. For the first time tonight, some residents say a town-hosted group work session got something accomplished. "This is the first start in a long process to redevelop our business district," Carolina Beach Mayor Bill Clark said, "It's not going to be a quick fix, its going to take a long time," Some Carolina Beach residents say revitalizing the town has already taken a long time. "The town has a lot of plans that seem to sit on shelves that nothing has been done with," Resident Shawn Underwood said, "Design is one facet, implementation is he most important facet. So far we haven't seen a lot of implementation. We have to hope that we're not just going through an exersize that something might actually come of this." The town hosted a group work session, inviting people to come in and help design the future face of Carolina Beach. "We're talking about the height of buildings, what is desirable here, what is not desirable here," Resident Joe Coen said. It's a town that's growing. The year round population in Carolina Beach rose 45 percent between 1990, and 2002. That means more people to care about the town's future. Mayor Clark says the turn out for the hands-on suggestion session was much bigger than expected. "I have a business on the beach and I have an interest in an improvement as a whole and Carolina Beach specifically," Joe Coen said. "All we've done is talk about it so here is the opportunity to actually put some plans together that will facilitate, hopefully the redevelopment of that area," Shawn Underwood said. This was only the first of five work sessions similar to this. The mayor says it may be March before the public sees the final results of all of the public work sessions.

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