Amendment to Zoning in Historic District Proposed
This month, the Wilmington City Council called upon the community to weigh in on a proposed change to allowable lot size in the historic district. Two council members, Paul Lawler and Kevin O'Grady, "expressed concerns that the amendment could lead to developers tearing down historic homes in the area in favor of more homes on smaller lots."
Two local groups, Historic Wilmington Foundation and Residents of Old Wilmington, who would certainly want to weigh in, were in the dark until recently. Sylvia Kochler, president of Residents of Old Wilmington, notes that "If you're going to have a zoning change, it could have some unintended consequences, it might have some adverse effects on preservation."
"The problem is that this change isn’t really a clerical change- which is what they essentially submitted it to the council- and could potentially change the types of buildings built in the historic district," Local REALTOR Tom Gale explains, "I appreciate the two council members’ cautious approach to this change. Everything may be fine, but it’s much easier to proceed a little more slowly to ensure that than to make a change and find out the unintended consequences afterwards and scramble to try to make further changes."
O'Grady, who previously served as president of Residents of Old Wilmington himself, called for the council to return the amendment for public input and evaluation by the city's Historic Preservation Commission before it were to cross the council's desk again.