Industrial businesses looking to call New Hanover County home may soon be required to hold public meetings as part of the special use permit -- or SUP – process. And the SUP is what they need to launch or expand operations. This is one among several changes that the county planning board unanimously recommended at last night’s public hearing on the most recent SUP draft—an update of a version that was tabled in January. And community stakeholders on both sides of the issue—business leaders and environmental advocates—say this new draft presents a compromise they can live with.
The New Hanover County planning department has a month to revise the most recent draft of the special use permit--or SUP--which is what new industrial companies need to operate. Last week’s presentation of the SUP to the planning board sparked controversy among local environmental advocates, pro-business groups and members of the public--many of whom claimed they didn’t have adequate time to consider the new draft.
Significant changes could be underway for manufacturers seeking permits to operate or expand in New Hanover County. At a work session this morning, the planning and inspections department presented an amendment to the county’s industrial zoning ordinance that would require new companies, such as Titan Cement, to present burden of proof when filing for special use permits to operate.
The decision to issue a permit for a terminal groin at the northern end of Figure Eight Island will be closely watched by environmentalists and three other nearby island communities – who are each hoping for their own erosion-control device.
A Titan Cement plant would bring about 48 jobs to New Hanover County – not the 720 originally quoted by an earlier economic impact study. That’s according to a new analysis paid for by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, an environmental advocacy group.