Rural Agricultural rezonings completed (and the code writing continues)

Welcome back to the Pender County UDO Update Blog!

It’s been a while, I know. We’ve been very hard at work on numerous fronts, both within the UDO Update and in our traditional planning functions, as was also the case for the previous blog. So without further ado, what’s been going on?

General Business to Rural Agriculture Rezoning

As you may recall, the second blog covered the first of our parallel adoption projects: a rezoning of nearly two-hundred parcels from the General Business zoning district to the Rural Agriculture zoning district. These parcels are located along NC Highway 53 east of Burgaw and along US Highway 117 south of Wallace. The rezoning was approved unanimously by the Board of County Commissioners on March 18th, 2019 with immediate effect, and property owners in these areas received one final letter from the Planning Department confirming the results of this project.

As of the action of the Commissioners on March 18th, this project is complete, and the rezoning has taken effect with the exception of those that submitted formal requests for their property to retain the GB, General Business zoning designation. We do want to make clear that this County-initiated project changed only the zoning designation of these parcels, and there was no development proposal associated with it. If you have any further questions about this project, please feel free to contact me!

UDO Code Review

Staff and our consultant have been hard at work on Article 3 of the UDO, which covers the rules and processes by which development projects are submitted, reviewed, and approved. As you might imagine, this article is large and complex and has taken multiple rounds of Staff and consultant review to work through, a process that is still ongoing. The Steering Committee will be receiving this article for their review in the coming days and will be considered with the previously reviewed articles (1, 2, 9, and 10) at their next meeting, which is scheduled for 9:30 AM on Thursday, May 2nd in the Hampstead Annex. From here, we’ll get into an analysis of zoning districts and permitted uses within those districts. At this point, we have arrived at what most would believe is the most important part of any UDO and where we really start to incorporate the recommendations established in the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use Plan into our UDO.

Pender County Trivia

Topsail Island’s history is long and diverse, but perhaps no single event is more integral to creating the beach communities we know and love today than Operation Bumblebee, which was a secretive program for the testing of guided missiles in the years immediately following World War II. Evidence of this program still exists today, including the former missile assembly building (which now houses the Missiles and More Museum), as well as numerous observation towers.

(picture source:

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to know more about this project, please get in touch with me!

Until next time,

Travis Henley

Long Range Planner

Pender County, North Carolina



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Welcome back to the Pender County UDO Update Blog! The Project team has been making significant progress on the UDO Project over the past few weeks. We hope you’ve been following along, and have famil