Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Wilmington’s River Place project once again requesting change to city’s ordinances

The request would allow more signs on buildings, which the River Place project wants because it will have multiple tenants in the same location.

Artist rendering of the River Place development, currently under construction. Mellow Mushroom is the second confirmed restaurant tenant in the project. (Port City Daily photo / Courtesy Cape Fear Commercial.)
Artist rendering of the River Place development, currently under construction. (Port City Daily photo / Courtesy Cape Fear Commercial.)

WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington is once again hoping to change city ordinances for the benefit of its public-private project knowns as River Place in downtown.

It’s not the first time ordinances have been tweaked for the project; last year the city council approved a request from itself to loosen flood restrictions for the property — just months after Hurricane Florence flooded the region.

Related: City of Wilmington approved its own request to loosen flood restrictions for River Place development

Now, the city’s planning commission will be considering an amendment to the land development code, section 18-575, better known as the sign ordinance.

This section specifically deals with, “Signs permitted in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Main Street Mixed Use (MSMU) District, the Riverfront Mixed Use (RFMU) District, the Mixed Use (MX) District, and the Urban Mixed Use (UMX) District.”

According to a new request, “The proposed amendment would, “Allow the city to fulfill its vision of activating the 200 Block of North Water Street by allowing viable retailers to thrive in this part of downtown.”

Essentially, the current sign code in the Central Business District allows only one sign per facade. This poses a problem because River Place will consist of several retailers in the location.

The new request would change the wording to allow 2-square-feet of signage per 1-linear-foot of a storefront.

The request could have an impact beyond the River Place project, as well. There are more changes in the request, all dealing with allowing more signage for businesses in the Central Business District.


 

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