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Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner
Posted on Feb 22nd, 2018 Comments (0)
ROW hosted its annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner on February 21 at St. Mary's School Cafeteria. ROW uses the opportunity to thank our local law enforcement for keeping our neighborhoods safe. Personnel from New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Wilmington Police Department shared the delicious food provided by ROW members who enjoyed mingling with the law enforcement guests. The abundance of leftovers are always given to the officers to take back to their precincts and offices.
Downtown Wilmington Issues
Posted on Jul 13th, 2017 Comments (0)
Residents in the Historic District will be impacted by decisions that will be made by the City, County and State in the coming weeks, months and years that will affect the quality of life downtown. These issues are monitored closely by ROW and are explained below.
I.  Short Term Rentals in Wilmington are houses or condos used for the purpose of renting for short periods of time, often a couple of days or a weekend. These rentals are often marketed and booked through Internet websites such as VRBO or AirBnB. Two types of Short Term Rentals have been defined by the City:
  • Whole House STRs are rented without the owner on the premises.
  • Home Stays are found in homes where the owner is on the premises and rents out rooms.
The conflict over STRs centers on whether Whole House Short Term Rentals should be allowed in Residential Districts.  Currently, Wilmington's Zoning Code does not permit any businesses to operate in neighborhoods zoned single family residential. The City estimates that approximately 540 STRs (both Whole House and Home Stays) are operating within Wilmington. Despite the existing zoning code, investors who own Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods want the code to be changed to allow their businesses in Residential Districts. 
ROW favors Home Stays in Residential Districts and all types of STRs in the Central Business District which is zoned commercial.
ROW opposes Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods. For more details about STRs in Wilmington, click the Read More button below.
The City Council will meet with the City Planning Staff in an STR work session on Friday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. They will meet in the Harrelson Conference Room on the 5th Floor of CresCom Bank, 115 N Third St.  The session is preliminary to a vote by City Council. If you want to voice your concerns about protecting the Residential Districts, email the City Council at:  Council@wilmington.gov
II. The Grace Street Project concerns the downtown block where the public library is located. The block is owned by the County and the New Hanover County Commissioners have approved a request for proposals for a public-private redevelopment of the block that includes the library, the recently-built Story Book Park, a parking garage, the Register of Deeds building and an empty parcel of land bordering Grace Street. Moving the Cape Fear Museum is included in the planning. Two public hearings revealed a strong opposition to the re-development which could include replacing the current library building to include the Cape Fear Museum, eliminating Story Book Park and adding new apartments, condos and a hotel. A combination of these elements will be included in the proposals. The County Commissioners will vote on the proposals in the summer of 2018. 
III. The Cape Fear Crossing Project is being proposed by the State Department of Transportation to determine where a new bridge will be built between Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Representatives from both counties work together in the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Commission, Mike Kozlosky, Executive Director. Twelve proposal were initially introduced, but the two routes that would impact the Downtown Historic District have been eliminatedROW favors the southernmost routes that would not impact the Historic District.
The final decision rests with the State Transportation Department and public hearings will be held before the proposed 2019 decision and proposed 2020 building date. Downtown residents need to remain vigilant and voice their opinions to protect the Historic areas.
IV. Wilmington's historic brick streets help define our historic districts and promote tourism. Unfortunately, many have been covered with asphalt or are in disrepair. The City reviewed the brick street policy, held pubic meetings, and determined steps that could be taken to improve the existing streets. The City Council has allocated funds for "Brick Street Rehabilitation" in the 2017-18 Budget Capital Improvement Program. We hope to see improvements in the coming year.
ROW Grants Impact Downtown
Posted on Jun 1st, 2017 Comments (0)
The impact of ROW Grants on Downtown Wilmington is evident in the "Before" and "After" photos above showing the improvement along the Post Office Parking Lot on Second Street.
  • ROW's most recent grant was for flag lighting on the USS North Carolina Battleship.
In 2016, ROW awarded these grants:
  • $2000 to the Bellamy Mansion for story-board exhibits in the slave quarters.
  • $2500 to the Salvation Army to make preparations to sell the church facility on Third Street in anticipation of a new Salvation Army campus to be built near the airport.