CoastLine: NHC's Special Use Permit — Environmental Gatekeeper or Economic Liability?

Jun 5, 2015

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on November 19, 2014.

The Special Use Permit is only about three years old in New Hanover County. 

Since its creation in 2011, it’s served as a gatekeeper – giving local officials the final say over whether an industry can set up shop within the County.  But the County recently paid nearly 100-hundred thousand dollars  for an economic development study entitled Pathways to Prosperity:  New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment.   Also known as The Garner Report, the study concludes that the SUP is a major deterrent to potential investment.    

Not long ago, Planning Board officials worked on a text amendment to the Permit.  After months of negotiations among business leaders and environmentalists, the Board recommended a new version to the Board of Commissioners in June. 

The vote ended in a tie – meaning no action would be taken and the existing SUP remained in place. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we explore what the role of the SUP should be in the County, whether it is, in fact, putting the kibosh on economic development, and what options exist to bridge the gap between those who want to keep the SUP in place and those who don’t. 

To help us sort through some of these questions, we invited three guests to the CoastLine studios:

Ted Shipley, Chairman of the New Hanover County Planning Board -- SEGMENT 1

Mike Giles, North Carolina Coastal Federation -- SEGMENTS 2 & 3

Peter Fensel, Executive Committee Member, Coalition for Economic Advancement -- SEGMENTS 2 & 3  

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