Update: Southport’s Board of Aldermen moved considering the text amendment to its regular July meeting.
SOUTHPORT — Southport could vote to allow 50-foot buildings inside commercially-zoned city limits Thursday.
Most regional coastal towns keep strict building height restrictions, with few exceptions. Nearly all structures in Southport are capped with a maximum 40-foot height restriction.
Southport permits 100-foot buildings in its Heavy Industrial zoning district; however, according to the city’s zoning map, only the public ferry terminal is zoned in this district, where the state only keeps a modestly-sized building.
In the light industrial district, 50-foot buildings are permitted, according to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
The city received an application for a zoning text amendment to its UDO. It would raise height restrictions in Southport’s business district by 10 feet. Currently, the business district’s maximum building height is 40 feet.
Parcels zoned in Southport’s business district straddle South Howe Street, with a few spot zoning pockets located along the waterfront. The applicant, Preston Development and Southport Marina, recently purchased the city’s former wastewater plant property for $650,000. Southport Marina intends to construct a 50-foot dry storage structure, effectively duplicating its existing 50-foot storage facility, approved in 2008.
If approved, the change would apply to all property in the business district — not just Southport Marina. Southport’s Planning Board denied the text amendment at its meeting last month, although city aldermen will have the final say.
The Board of Aldermen will host a public hearing Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m. about the text amendment during its regular meeting.
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