WILMINGTON – The New Hanover County Planning and Land Use Department announced Friday it has published online the first draft phase of its Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO.The draft document, developed by planning staff and a consultant team, was provided to the New Hanover County Planning Board during its meeting April 5. The board, along with the public, will have the opportunity to review the draft and provide feedback during the entire UDO process.
The county said the UDO is being completed in three draft phases that will take place over the next year. The draft that is now available for review is the first phase, focusing on zoning districts, permitted uses and definitions; the second phase will focus on site development regulations and general standards like parking, signs, landscaping and setbacks; and the third phase will focus on administrative provisions and procedures.
“The county’s existing zoning codes are outdated and don’t allow us to accomplish the development patterns that are outlined in the county’s Comprehensive Plan,” said Planning Director Wayne Clark. “It’s important that we have modern regulatory tools, zoning districts, and building standards that are easy to understand and will help guide sustainable development and growth. The UDO process will help us accomplish that.”
Public input on the initial draft is welcome and can be made on the UDO website and at a public workshop being held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1. This workshop, held by the planning board, will take place in New Hanover County Government Center’s training room B, at 230 Government Center Drive in Wilmington.
Officials said additional public workshops will take place during the UDO process, and the public is to be notified as they are scheduled.