New Hanover Commission unanimously approves special use permit

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Commission made a decision on the long-debated special use permit (SUP) Monday night.

Commissioners unanimously approved SUP, which changes the text in parts of the county’s zoning ordinance. It also changes the Table of Permitted Uses in the zoning law.

The county’s planning board approved the SUP last month. The goal of the plan is to clarify what kind of development is allowed under the county’s zoning rules.

The plan was developed through a series of work session and other meetings. County staff recommends commissioner approve the plan. SUP was first introduced to commissioners in 2011 and since then the permit has been highly debated among residents.

“Those industrial zones are surrounded by neighborhoods. They’re surrounded by schools,” Robert Parr who opposes SUP said. “And tonight the citizens spoke out. And they tried to convince the county commission that these were not wise moves.”

Many say the changes were not properly vetted from a public health standard. New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple understands, but disagrees.

“Their concerns are absolutely legitimate.I just feel that we can address them in an appropriate forum and which is the UDO process. Which we will be. We’ll bring experts in. We’ll allow stakeholders from throughout the entire community to express their desires. And we can take care once and for all some of those areas that are not working appropriately with the zoning that’s going up around them,” Zapple said.

Commissioner Zapple says SUP will make the future of the county more clear as to what they want to see developed in the area. Zapple adds it will take 12 to 18 months to get special use permits up and running in the county.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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