Sunday, March 3, 2024

Podcast May 11 – Just 18 pebbles, relaxing massage law enforcement, ‘gateway’ properties

We kick off this week with housecleaning — or, at least, some housecleaning for the City of Wilmington. Plans are afoot to clean up Bijou Park, which has long been suffering from neglect. Now that the city is preparing for completion of its private-public River Place project, the park is back in the spotlight, since it will serve as an entrance to the development.

And, speaking of entrances, the city is soliciting proposals to develop to properties near the entrance to the city on North Third Street (as the street becomes Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway). Options include a welcome center and another mixed-use development — although, unlike River Place, this time the city will consider adding affordable housing to any residential option.

Next up: 18 pebbles caused Surf City’s beach renourishment project to grind to a halt. How did this happen, and what’s next? Also, this week, the latest on D.R. Horton’s $5-million (or more) lawsuit against Brunswick County over system impact fees. The county’s defense: they lost money running the utility. We get into what that means.

Also this week, a closer look at Wilmington’s 1962 massage parlor law. The ordinance forbids men from being massaged by women (and vice versa). It also requires parlors to hand over detailed info on all employees — and all clients — to the chief of police. The law, which is explicitly aimed at protecting public morality, doesn’t get enforced much by police, but it’s still on the books. We dig into where the law came from, what it means for the present day, and why it makes us skeptical when law enforcement agencies say they enforce all laws equally.

If you missed any of these stories, you can catch up below. Then take a deeper dive with our weekly podcast.

City plans on upgrading Bijou Park in Downtown to coincide with River Place opening date

Wilmington considers accepting plans for redevelopment of city-owned ‘gateway’ properties

Sand-haul dune work in Surf City stopped by DEQ’s discovery of 18 pebbles in sand

Brunswick County responds to D.R. Horton suit, says it operated utility systems at loss

Wilmington’s ‘moral’ massage parlor laws are anything but relaxed

Fourth time’s a charm: Sunset Beach swears in new mayor after three straight resignations

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