UPDATE: On Nov. 3, there will be a New Hanover County Planning Board Public Hearing from 6-8 p.m. The hearing will determine the Special Use Permit recommendation the planning board will make at the Nov. 14 Board of Commissioners Public Hearing. Please attend and make your voice heard!

On Nov. 10, North Carolina Coastal Federation staff are also hosting a community information session. Staff will answer questions and review updates before the Nov. 14 public hearing. Join us for appetizers and snacks at the Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center in Wrightsville Beach from 5:30-6:30 p.m. If you’re attending, please give us a heads up! Contact Jennifer Salter at jennifers@nccoast.org or 910-509-2838.

At the most recent New Hanover County Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting on Oct. 17, a significant milestone was achieved for the local community supporting the proposed improvements to the county’s Special Use Permit (SUP) process. Several residents lined up to speak during the public comment period and requested that a public hearing be scheduled for the next BOC meeting in November. After much discussion among the commissioners, the BOC voted to schedule the public hearing for Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. to review the SUP text amendments.

Some of the key talking points the residents shared included:

  • Now is the time to adopt an improved Industrial SUP.
    • The proposed recommendations were the result of more than two years work in a collaborative and transparent process working with consultants, county officials and the business and development community.
  • The improved SUP process is a tool New Hanover County (NHC) needs to ensure the county has a responsible, sustainable plan for economic development and future growth.
    • It will allow local officials to properly vet industrial applicants while taking into consideration water quality and quantity, public health and natural resources.
  • It is important NHC acts now to address the most intensive industries that pose the most risk to the community.
    • NHC cannot attract new industry, businesses, employees and homeowners if the region’s health, economy and quality of life is degraded by polluting industries.

The community is advocating for improvements to the SUP that specifically address intensive industries including:

  • An extended timeline to review applications for heavy industries
  • A community information meeting (CIM) and report for certain intensive industries requiring an SUP
  • A comprehensive checklist and project assessment report
  • A revised table of permitted uses that address industries/manufacturing uses ONLY and can be adopted now along with the SUP improvements

Next steps:

The North Carolina Coastal Federation has begun engaging several organizations and the local community to attend the scheduled public hearing on Nov. 14.

Take action NOW!

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!
  • We NEED you to attend the upcoming Board of Commissioner’s public hearing on Nov. 14!
  • 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.