Planning board approves code changes
The Wrightsville Beach Planning Board on Tuesday approved amending the town’s ordinances at the request of the town’s planning staff, which said the changes would help facilitate proposed upgrades to Wrightsville Beach Park.
The board voted 4-1 to approve the changes, which alter the requirements for G-1 and P-1 zoning in the town. Only board member Jim Smith opposed the changes.
The town hired real estate developer Scott Stewart in March to propose upgrades to the town’s parks, which will include a multiuse path and boardwalk-style path around the outskirts of the park, with a pier stretching into the nearby marsh. The town’s board of aldermen hasn’t yet considered the proposal.
Smith said he worried about changing the P-1 conservation zones, as well as the potential for trash to end up in the nearby marsh.
“Any time you mess with the conservation plan, you open a can of worms,” Smith said.
Resort building new storm water runoff project
Construction crews broke ground last week on a storm water reduction project at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach that will redirect runoff from recreational waters to a new system that will infiltrate and reuse runoff for irrigation.
The system is designed to capture runoff from the hotel building, parking lot and nearby streets into a temporary storage chamber where the runoff can be reused for landscaping, reducing the hotel’s use of public drinking water for irrigation by an estimated 25 percent. The system design also allows for unused overflow to be stored in an underground infiltration system and to seep through the natural sandy ground.
“Our ownership has always promoted a community-centric business approach, and this infiltration project is a wonderful opportunity to embrace a public/private community partnership,” said Feletia Lee, environmental coordinator for the resort.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation, which is partnering with the Blockade Runner on the project, also built a series of storm water reduction installations around Wrightsville Beach.
“The higher goal is to use these very successful projects as demonstrations of what can be accomplished in a relatively easy and cost-effective way, and to see all of our coastal towns and highway planners incorporate these measures into their designs for new and existing development,” said Tracy Skrabal, a coastal scientist with the federation.
YMCA receives $2 million donation
The Wilmington Family YMCA will name its renovated building for the family of a YMCA staff member after a $2 million donation from her son.
The YMCA announced Friday that Dr. Oaz Nir, son of Dalia Nir, made the donation toward the proposed $9 million project, which will replace the damaged Market Street building that was destroyed by fire in 2015.
The fire almost led to the complete destruction of the building, but the organization maintained use of parts of the building and opened an Express Y for additional space until renovations are completed.
Although the YMCA has additional funds to raise, the renovations are scheduled to begin in 2017. The new building will be named the Nir Family Y in honor of the family’s commitment to the organization.
“I am happy to help a cause which will have a great impact on such a large group of people, a cause which is so dearly important to my family,” Nir said.