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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 familiarized yourself with the Comprehensive Plan, UDO Assessment Report, and other documents on this page.

Anyway, here’s a quick run-down of what we’ve been up to:

Reviewing Draft Articles

We have officially begun the process of revising the actual text of the Unified Development Ordinance, a tedious process to say the least. We started with draft Articles 9 (Penalties and Enforcement) and 10 (Nonconformities), and the Steering Committee has also reviewed these chapters and sent their comments back to our consultant. Staff have also reviewed initial drafts of Articles 1 (General Provisions) and 2 (Decision-making and Administrative Bodies) with preliminary comments, and the Steering Committee will receive these chapters for their review in the coming days. These draft articles will be made available as the Steering Committee signs off on them but will still exist as drafts until the adoption of the updated UDO at the conclusion of the project.

Where are we going from here? Next on our agenda is Article 3, which covers the development review process and application requirements. Following that, we’ll be reviewing articles on zoning districts, the uses allowed within those districts and specific use standards and regulations, and site design. We’re moving quickly into the meat of the UDO now, and where many of our action items from the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use Plan will be considered. Stay tuned!

Stakeholder Day

Last Thursday (February 21), the Project team held two stakeholder input meetings, one in Hampstead and one in Wilmington. In between the two meetings, the Project team also presented at the monthly meeting of the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (BASE) on the UDO Update Project and some of our items identified for Parallel Adoption. This day was intended to gather input and feedback from individuals that frequently utilize Pender County’s UDO. These meetings were very successful in gathering that input and feedback on issues found with the current UDO and advice on what lessons could be learned from elsewhere that would lead to the desired outcomes as represented in our Plan for Pender County.

While we were very pleased with the feedback we received from the stakeholders in attendance, there are quite a few that we missed, so Staff will be continuing the stakeholder engagement process over the coming weeks. And of course, this feedback is one small piece of the puzzle. We still have the incredible feedback we received in the development of the Pender 2.0 Comprehensive Land Use Plan to utilize as well, and the community vision established by the Plan itself, which will continue to guide the UDO Update above all else.

Future Events

We are also very happy to confirm that our first public input meeting will be taking place in Burgaw on the evening of March 21st! Our exact location in Burgaw is still to be determined, but we’ll be confirming it soon, so please continue to check this website for updated information. This event will generally be an open-house style meeting, but there will be a presentation introducing the project and explaining where we are and where we’re going in the future as well. We hope to see you there!

Oh, one more thing: From here on out, we’ll be ending every blog post with a hopefully fun and interesting piece of trivia about Pender County. If you have any fun facts (that, importantly, are also true) about Pender County that you think many people don’t know, let me know and we’ll see about using them!

Pender County Trivia #1: The character Philip Banks, played by the late James Avery and better known as Uncle Phil from the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is a native of Pender County (Source: IMDB). Established in the fourth episode of the first season (entitled “Not with My Pig, You Don’t”), it is explained by Uncle Phil’s parents that he was born and raised in the community of Yamacraw, which is in the western portion of Pender County along Moores Creek, just above the National Battlefield.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to know more about the project, feel free to contact me.

Until next time,

Travis Henley

Long Range Planner

Pender County, North Carolina




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