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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Wilmington has spent months working on deal for Mayfaire developer that cut down 50 oaks

The City of Wilmington assessed the Village at Mayfair a $20,000 fine months ago for cutting the trees without proper permits.

Fifty oak trees were cut down at the Village at Mayfaire without permission and replaced with palm trees, now the city is trying to cut a deal with the developer to avoid a $20,000 fine (Port City Daily/Ben Scachtman)
Fifty oak trees were cut down at the Village at Mayfaire without permission and replaced with palm trees; now, the city is trying to cut a deal with the developer to avoid pursuing a $20,000 fine. (Port City Daily photo  / Ben Scachtman)

WILMINGTON — When the City of Wilmington first realized that the Village at Mayfaire Condominium Association had cut down approximately 50 oak trees, it assessed a citation in the amount of $20,000 — a fine that as of July had not been collected. But the city appears to have been working hard to find an alternative to collecting that fine.

In response to the fine, the condominium owners association filed an appeal with the City of Wilmington Board of Adjustment in June, but nearly six months later, the board has yet to actually hear the appeal. Now, once again, it is on the board’s agenda.

While the appeal has been postponed, it appears town employees have spent months working to make a deal with the owners association.

In July, a settlement agreement between the city and the owners association was drafted which, among other things, would forgive the $20,000 fine.

Related: Wilmington proposes deal with Mayfaire developer to waive $20,000 fine for destroying 50 oaks without permission

It is unclear what is taking so long to reach an agreement, but each time the item comes before the board, the applicant (the condo association) has requested a continuance.

Each time it has been granted, further extending the time the condo association does not have to pay the fine.

The item is once again on the Board of Adjustment’s agenda for Dec. 20 at 1 p.m., but no staff report is available on the item according to city planning staff.

Port City Daily reached out to the City of Wilmington for comment on the agreement but at time of publication had not received a response.

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