Welcome to the Pender County Unified Development Ordinance Update Blog!

Following the adoption of the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Pender County Planning and Community Development embarked on a major project to update the County’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). This project is designed to improve the County’s UDO in a way that makes it a more clear, concise, and easy to use and interpret document; that brings the document up to compliance with state and federal law and recent judicial decisions; and above all, that implements the goals and recommendations established in the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Pender County Staff will use various types of public outreach methods to keep the public educated and involved in the UDO Update process. One of those methods is the blog you are currently reading. These blog posts are intended to be written and published either weekly or bi-weekly and will cover various topics, including general updates on the progress of the UDO Update, specific topics or features of the new Ordinance, announcements of upcoming meetings, answering questions and comments received through the website or other means, and anything else that Staff feels would be beneficial to address via a blog post. These blog posts are envisioned to supplement the many other public outreach activities that will be part of this project, including workshops, surveys, hearings, the project website, and numerous other means.

Project Team

My name is Travis Henley, and I am Long Range Planner for Pender County and am serving as the Project Manager for the UDO Update Project and the primary author of the forthcoming series of blogs for this project. I, along with Kyle Breuer, Planning Director, Pat O’Mahony, Senior Planner, and the rest of the Planning and Community Development staff, will work with a consultant to complete the UDO Update. Pender County contracted with Stewart, Inc. in October 2018 to serve as a consultant for this project, with Jay McLeod serving as the Project Manager for Stewart, Inc. along with a large project team.

As part of the project, the Pender County Planning Board will also serve as the Steering Committee, which will assist the project team in reviewing draft Ordinance language and will hold multiple public meetings about the project. The Steering Committee is made up of the following members: John Fullerton, Chairperson, Elaine Nalee, Vice-Chairperson, Walter Baker, Andrea Carter, Delva Jordan, Theo McClammy, and Suzann Rhodes.

Parallel Adoption

In recognition of the vital importance of the Unified Development Ordinance and a desire to complete this project as efficiently as possible, the County is and will work on selected topics in a “Parallel Adoption” approach. Certain topics will be worked on concurrently with the larger UDO Update and brought up for adoption as soon as they are completed as part of the traditional Zoning Text Amendment process, which requires a hearing and recommendation from the Planning Board and a hearing and final decision from the Board of Commissioners. Topics included in the Parallel Adoption approach include selected Zoning Map Amendments and a new Coastal Residential zoning district.

The next blog entry will cover one of the Parallel Adoption topics, a rezoning of many parcels along NC Highway 53 east of Burgaw near the Cape Fear River, and near the interchange of Interstate 40 and US Highway 117 south of Wallace.

Stay tuned for this blog to be posted in the next few days!

Until next time,

Travis Henley - Long Range Planner

Pender County, North Carolina