Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Restaurants coming to Wilmington’s Historic District?

The use is already permitted in the Historic Mixed-Use Districts if a special use permit is granted, but not in the Historic District

The City of Wilmington's Historic District (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)
The City of Wilmington’s Historic District (Port City Daily/Courtesy City of Wilmington)

Update: 3:30 p.m. – The application for “restaurant, fast food and carry out” has been postponed from the originally scheduled July 11 meeting at the request of the applicant. 

WILMINGTON—The City of Wilmington is known for its collection of historic homes located in the aptly named Historic District. And, while the area might be pedestrian friendly and walkable, there are very few uses that are permitted outside of residential in the Historic District. But an application from Cindee Wolf with Design Solutions is hoping to change that.

In March, Wolf submitted a Land Development Code Amendment Request to the city that would add restaurant, fast-food and carry out to the area’s zoning, but with no drive-up windows.

The area in question encompasses the area between Dock Street and Chestnut Street, and North Third Street and North 7th Street. It includes buildings such as City Hall, New Hanover County’s Historic Courthouse and the Bellamy Mansion

According to the application, there would be several restrictions in place, including: limiting any locations to existing commercial structures in the district, off-street parking requirements, directional light fixtures to reduce light pollution, limiting hours of operation from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., and the requirement of a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Committee.

These requirements would not allow any structure in the Historic District to convert into a restaurant, instead, it would be limited to buildings that are already commercial in nature.

Wolf claims allowing the changes would help bolster some revitalization efforts in the district.

“Allowing the use in the historic districts by prescribed conditions could encourage the rehabilitation of obsolete and under-utilized buildings within the district,” the request states. “Restaurant, fast food, and carry out, no drive-up windows is already included in the Historic District Mixed Use (another downtown zoning district) by special use permit.”

Wolf declined to comment on the application or the proposed purpose of the application, instead referring questions to her client, Patrick Block, for whom Wolf is submitting the application. Block did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On July 11 the City of Wilmington Planning Commission will review the application and make its decision on the request.

LDC1718HDRestaurantATT1App (1) by Michael James on Scribd

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