More than 55 supporters attended the New Hanover County (NHC) Planning Board’s Sept. 8 public hearing on proposed revisions to the county’s Special Use Permit (SUP) process submitted by the NHC Planning Staff. The North Carolina Coastal Federation presented several improvements to the county’s proposal to specifically address and identify heavy polluting industries. These proposed improvements include:

  • an extended review period
  • a comprehensive application checklist
  • required community information meeting (CIM)
  • specific time frames
  • a revised table of permitted uses
  • depth limitations for high intensity mining operations.

Essentially, the federation’s proposed revisions included all of the merits of the Model Industrial SUP process developed over the last two years that specifically addresses community and business concerns over the lack of clarity in the current SUP’s language.

In attendance were several organizations that spoke to the benefits of the Model Industrial SUP, including the League of Women Voters, Cape Fear River Watch, Cape Fear Chapter of the Sierra Club and concerned New Hanover County residents.

After hearing comments from all interested parties, the Planning Board voted to table the text amendments until an additional work session could be held.

Next Steps

The Planning Board has scheduled another work session on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the New Hanover County Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive, in the Lucie Harrell Conference Room. The Planning Board will invite stakeholders and the public to continue discussing issues and solutions to improve the SUP process.

Take Action

There are several ways you can support the My Community, My Voice campaign to help improve the SUP process:

  • Sign up to receive regular updates and action alerts!
  • Attend upcoming Board of Commissioner and Planning Board Meetings.
  • Write a letter or meet with the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
  • Read in more detail the many voices in our community supporting a strong SUP for Industrial applicants.
  • Follow us on Facebook.