Last chance to weigh in on Wilmington’s new land development code

WILMINGTON –– Wilmington City Council is slated to completely upend its entire land development code (LDC) for the first time in 40 years Tuesday. Work to replace the LDC first began six years ago.

City council will vote on replacing it with a brand-new code, entirely reorganized and rewritten. There is no red-lined version, so it’s tough to point to and outline every single change, though the city did release comparison of use tables for each zoning district.

Planning commission unanimously voted to recommend adopting the new code Aug. 4.


The new code creates multiple opportunities for denser housing, allowing a mix of products (townhomes, duplexes, triplexes) by right in areas where developers are currently jumping through multiple development hoops to secure approvals. Parking lots will shrink (or disappear entirely) for new commercial projects.

It also encourages tree retention, introducing a new category of trees to be saved, making it more difficult to remove older live oaks. Planning staff’s highest priority in shaping the new code was improving the appearance of the most well-traveled roadways –– the most high-traffic corridors will have specific planning requirements under the new code. 

Wilmington city council will meet beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday. If approved, it would go into effect Dec. 1.

Read through a draft version of the LDC or check out an interactive zoning map that includes a before-and-after visualization.

Catch up on Port City Daily’s previous coverage of the draft LDC process: 


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