Planning commission split on short term rental changes, approve controversial development amendment


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Tonight the Wilmington Planning Commissioners met to tackle new rules for short term rentals and another hot button issue over development.

The change in zoning law would let developers seek a special use permit or a development agreement. This would be for building 75 foot tall buildings in Urban Mixed Use areas.

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This was requested by the city of Wilmington but neighbors think it could take away the thorough permit process.

Planners told the commission it actually opens up for more debate on proposed builds. Former Mayor Harper Peterson led the charge against the amendment. He said it would go hand in hand to make it easier for the Carroll Company development of “The Avenue” that was once set to break ground along Military Cutoff Road.

The commission decided 4 to 1 to approve that change and now it will go to city council.

The commission was stuck however on the proposed changes to defining and regulating short term rentals.

City planners want to bring forward new rules to regulating short term rentals.

They want to define them separately as a “homestay”, where the renter lives in that same home, or a “whole house” where it is someone renting a house they do not reside in.

The commission could not come to a conclusion after three votes, one against the proposal with changes, and two tying votes for the proposal with changes that surrounded parking requirements being removed.

The new rules will now go to city council.

Wilmington city leaders will meet February 6th.  It’s not certain if they will talk short term rentals because the council has asked to hold a workshop with the planning commission.