Industrial special use permit discussion starts in New Hanover County

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Coastal Federation held a gathering tonight to kick off their “My Community My Voice” campaign urging citizens to support an industrial special use permit process for New Hanover County.

Tracy Skrabal with the Coastal Federation said an industrial special use permit would create a process where the county and the community would evaluate industry coming to the area before they set up shop and decide which ones are the best fit for the region.

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Skrabal said impacts on things like the environment, the economy, and public health should all be taken into account before any industry comes to the area.

At tonight’s kick off event, county commissioner Rob Zapple encouraged folks to talk with their leaders about their thoughts on the permits.

For Skrabal, putting an industrial special use permit in place is important to preserving New Hanover County.

“In recent past proposed heavy industrial uses that came to our county that left the public out of the process. So we really need that local process that gives us the opportunity to get involved at the early stages before it’s too late and all of the state and federal permits are issued,” said Skrabal.

Not everyone agrees however. Mitch Lamm the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce sent a statement saying they do not support the federation’s model for the permit. Lamm said the Coastal Federation does not represent a community consensus and their model does not adequately represent the needs of the business community.

Lamm went on to say that the chamber will continue to work on improvements to the current special use process which hinders the county’s economic growth and the prosperity of residents.

There are still a few months left before the commission votes on the permit plans.