The N.C. Coastal Federation, in partnership with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, area business leaders and local government officials, is working to create a model for the county’s approval process for industrial development to help ensure better compatibility of new land uses with existing neighbors.

The effort to improve New Hanover County’s special-use permit, or SUP, process needs public input and collaboration. In October, the federation and coalition partners will conduct community outreach and educational events to promote the adoption of these collaborative improvements to New Hanover County’s industrial-development process.

The project was made possible by a $25,000.00 grant secured by the federation from the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and continued support from the Educational Foundation of America. Work began in August 2014 to address concerns about the SUP process cited by the economic development community and county staff.

A team consisting of a diverse cross-section of 14 members, a professional planning and zoning consultant and support staff was formed in December 2014. The goal for this committee is to find common ground and solutions by evaluating New Hanover County’s existing SUP procedures, identifying regulatory incentives and disincentives to attracting clean industries to the county and creating a blueprint for the planning consultant to draft the model process.

The planning consultant is currently working on final draft text amendments to the county’s development ordinance using information provided by the group, forming an SUP process designed to attract targeted industries and establish a comprehensive review procedure for the small number of intensive industries that have a significant potential to adversely affect the community’s economy, health and environment.

What’s next?

The project team has worked diligently for more than a year in this important endeavor. Now, the public’s help is needed.

Those interested in participating and getting involved can find more information at the Stop Titan Action Network website. Contact Karen Dunn, Clean Communities Coordinator, by email  or call 910-509-2838 Ext. 205.