Wilmingtonbiz logo

NHC Prepares To Launch Comprehensive Plan

By Jenny Callison, posted Feb 25, 2014
Staff members helping get the word out on New Hanover County's comprehensive planning process are, from left: ShawnC Ralston, Chris O'Keefe, arey Disney Ricks and Jennifer Rigby. (Photo by Jenny Callison)
CORRECTION: This version corrects the time of the launch event to 3-5 p.m. Thursday.

With the launch of its comprehensive planning process just two days away, New Hanover County planners are encouraging county residents to participate in the wide-ranging effort.

“We want everyone – stay-at-home moms, janitors working three jobs so they can afford to feed their family, executives, educators – to be part of this process,” said county long-range planner Jennifer Rigby. “We hope they will keep an open mind coming in and hope they will say what is working well [in the county] and what is not.”

A launch event takes place 3-5 p.m. Thursday at the NHC Government Center, 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 135. Attendees will hear from the staff members involved about goals for the comprehensive planning process, how the process will work and the timetable it will follow. They will also get, in Rigby’s words, “lots and lots of statistics” that will provide a base for the work of six theme committees over the next few months.

Attendees will also be encouraged to sign up for one of those theme committees described by county officials as:
•    Livable built environment: Ensure that all elements of the built environment, including land use, transportation, housing, energy, and infrastructure work together to provide sustainable, green places for living, working and recreation.
•    Harmony with nature: Ensure the contributions of natural resources to human well-being are explicitly recognized and valued and that maintaining their health is a primary objective.
•    Resilient economy: Ensure the community is prepared to deal with both positive and negative changes in its economic health and to initiate sustainable urban development and redevelopment strategies that foster business growth through technology and innovation and build reliance on local assets.
•    Interwoven equity: Ensure fairness and equity in providing housing, services, health, safety and livelihood needs of all citizen groups.
•    Healthy community: Ensure public health needs are recognized and addressed through provisions for healthy foods, physical activity, access to recreation, health care, environmental justice and safe neighborhoods.
•    Responsible regionalism: Ensure all local proposals account for, connect with and support the plans of adjacent jurisdictions and the surrounding region.

Rigby said that each committee would first discuss issues and problems related to its theme area, research best management practices with regard to them – looking at how other communities have successfully addressed them, explore possible policies that can work for New Hanover County and develop specific policy recommendations.

Final recommendations will go to New Hanover County commissioners for their approval.

The planners are hoping to recruit at least 20 individuals for each committee but could accommodate up to 50, Rigby said.

“We will not turn anyone away who wants to participate,” she said.

County planning and zoning manager Shawn Ralston said that, once the comprehensive planning process is completed, the planning staff will update the county’s zoning ordinance and look at the existing urban services boundary to see if it accurately reflects areas that should continue to be left without water and sewer and other urban services.

“The zoning ordinance was written in 1969, and the community has changed a good deal – it’s become a good deal more urban – and we need to have the tools to accommodate change,” said Chris O’Keefe, the county’s planning and inspections director.

The comprehensive planning process is proceeding in alignment with the county’s strategic plans as well as with Garner Economics LLC’s development of an economic development strategy for the county, said county spokeswoman Carey Disney Ricks.

County planners said they are also communicating with City of Wilmington planning staff who are at work on the city’s comprehensive plan, an effort that began last March.

For more information about the public launch event or the comprehensive planning process in general, click here or email jrigby@nhcgov.com

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights


Burrus rob headshot 300x300

The Power Of Mentoring

Robert T. Burrus, Jr. - Cameron School of Business - University of North Carolina Wilmington
Thom cross marine max 300 x 300

Planning To Buy A Boat? Use The Off-Season To Get Ready

Thom Cross - MarineMax Wrightsville Beach
Earl sheridan300x300

Examples Of Partnerships For Housing Affordability

Earl Sheridan - City of Wilmington

Book On Business

2015 bookonbusiness

The 2015 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$19.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Pender Organizers Share Festival Tips At Summit

The N.C. Blueberry Festival, Pender County Tourism, the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce and Burgaw Area Chamber of Commerce recently held the Eastern N.C. Events and Festival Consortium, in an effort to share large-scale event hosting tips and tricks.

Commercial Activity On Upswing In Q3, Still Rising

For commercial real estate brokers throughout the Wilmington area, 2015 has been a robust year....

Info Junkie: Dan Tynan

Info Junkie Dan Tynan, editor-in-chief for Yahoo Tech, on his media and tech recommendations....

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Sunny 104.5 FM Moving To Stronger Signal In December

Cece Nunn - Nov 25, 2015

Local Retailers Gear Up For Busy Shopping Weekend

Jenny Callison - Nov 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Feasts Bring Plumbers Business Bump

Jenny Callison - Nov 25, 2015

Cucalorus Attendance, Event Variety Up From 2014

Jenny Callison - Nov 24, 2015 Trending News

Markraft Cabinets

MarKraft Cabinets specializes in cabinet and countertop design and installation in both new residential and commercial construction, as well as custom remodeling projects.

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast Series - The future of higher education - Sept. 2015
WilmingtonBiz Expo - Key Note Lunch with DONALD CROTEAU CEO, Vertex Rail - 2015

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!

There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:

Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad