CAMA land use committee prepares to wrap up Wrightsville Beach’s 40-foot height limit in place

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The steering committee rewriting the town’s land use plan will conduct its final meeting tonight, Thursday, Sept. 21, ending with a plan that largely left previous town policy in place. Specifically, the new land use plan won’t make significant changes to language concerning the town’s 40-foot height limit.

Under the state’s Coastal Area Management Act, communities that are under the law’s jurisdiction, including Wrightsville Beach, must either have a land use plan or adopt the law’s general land use policies.

The land use plan will also urge the town to seek to limit the number of times the Trask Drawbridge opens, though planning consultant Dale Holland told the committee that its difficult to limit drawbridge openings because the Intracoastal Waterway accommodates commercial traffic, which would interfere with interstate commerce.

The committee was partly guided by a survey of mainly residents and second homeowners in Wrightsville Beach.

In comments sections, several survey respondents said they want more mixed use development, with some replying they didn’t want those properties to become bars.

One question asked respondents what areas the town should promote for development, with a majority referencing the empty lot by Johnny Mercer’s Pier. When asked what Wrightsville Beach’s top assets were, fully 80 percent said the town’s beaches, followed by the residential atmosphere and family-friendly environment.

If the steering committee approves the plan, it will go before the town’s planning committee on Oct. 3.

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