We start this week with efforts to get Wilmington — an official “Tree City USA” — to direct more money and staff towards protecting the “urban tree canopy.” It’s not just about aesthetics, however. A recent study on southern cities, including Wilmington, showed urban canopies were linked to decreased flooding and, perhaps surprisingly, decreased criminal activity.
Also discussed this week: the mother-in-law apartment (a.k.a. carriage houses).
A product of a largely bygone era, these accessory dwelling units were once more common. City planning staff believe that changing the city’s ordinances to allow more of them could help the city deal with its affordable housing crisis (which, by the way, affects the vast majority of Wilmington residents).
Then, it’s time for deep dive into the audit of the Southport Police Department, released late last year.
In the wake of revelations that a Wilmington chemist had been fired for “untruthfulness,” calling into question years of drug cases, we began to wonder about Southport and the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office. Unlike New Hanover County DA Ben David, Brunswick DA, Jon David, did not issue a letter to defense attornies notifying them of cases facing possible review.
So, we asked: why not?
Last, it’s a trip to the beach. The towns of Surf City and Topsail Beach are moving ahead with $10 million in beach renourishment. It’s essentially a gamble, hoping federal funding will come through. Either way, the town’s acknowledge that, without a beach, there’s little to no business.
And, in Carolina Beach, the town is facing a shortage of police officers — seven officers have left for positions at the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office in the last several months, four in the last week.
If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.