Approval of Plan NHC: Charting the Course, New Hanover County’s comprehensive plan, signals a major achievement for our region’s future and for the Wilmington Chamber, whose members, staff and leadership worked diligently to enact changes to the draft plan to ensure the business community’s viewpoints and needs were considered.
Passage of the plan by county commissioners at their July 11th meeting creates a road map that will guide growth in the county for several decades. The board of directors of the Chamber and its advocacy partner Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (BASE) applaud the efforts of County Planning staff, the Planning Commission, and County Commissioners for their diligence and hard work in crafting the plan. County staff should also be commended for accepting input from Chamber leaders and members, and for their flexibility in making changes that have created a plan with clearer regulations, with policies and processes which will support job growth, that protects our natural resources, and that helps ensure the continued prosperity of our region.
Since 2014, the Chamber spent considerable time providing feedback to the City and County as they embarked on comprehensive planning initiatives, giving real-world examples to staff regarding height and density requirements that would be necessary to support market demand and make development projects feasible. We also encouraged aligning the overarching goals of the Comprehensive Plan with the Commissioners strategic plan, and for the removal of the Aquifer Sensitivity map and Probable Wetlands map, due to the inaccuracy of the information in them.
The majority of the business community’s concerns were addressed, helping create a much-more viable road map to handle the growth that is expected in the region over the next twenty years. We are very pleased with the overall effort to address these issues and believe this is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working in conjunction for the betterment of our community. We look forward to continuing to work with all area stakeholders as the County undertakes writing new development regulations.