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Archive for May, 2009

Miss USA to visit hometown Wilmington next week

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Wilmington native and Hoggard High School graduate Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009, will pay an official visit to her hometown May 27-30.

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City Council approves voluntary annexation along River Road

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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Wilmington City Council approved what could very well be the city’s largest voluntary annexation ever on Tuesday night.

It was a unanimous vote to approve annexing more than 1,300 acres into the city for a waterfront mixed-use development along River Road.

Newland Communities, the developer of the proposed Riverlights mixed-use development along River Road, requested the approved voluntary annexation.

“They really like to create a sense of home when it comes to their developments, they want to create healthy living systems, and they want to be real innovative in the way they do that,” said Newland representative Michael Lee.

The developers favor working under city ordinances and zoning rules, rather than those of the county.

Before voting, council did hear some opposition. “Look at this, not in a vacuum, not as just the project itself, but how it’s going to have an impact on the entire River Road area,” said Jonathan Deputy who lives near the annexed area.

The project will include redirecting a portion of River Road, which is currently owned by the state and will be taken over by the city.

But those concerns didn’t sway City Council.

“This project will bring planned, quality growth, that’s one of the things we’ve always heard over and over again,” said Mayor Saffo.

Growth isn’t the only thing the development will bring, as the tax base will have more than $3 million added as a result of the annexation.

This voluntary annexation is larger than the involuntary annexation of the Monkey Junction area that Council approved a few weeks ago.

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videoWilmington City Council approved what could very well be the city’s largest voluntary annexation ever on Tuesday night.

It was a unanimous vote to approve annexing more than 1,300 acres into the city for a waterfront mixed-use development along River Road.

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Associated poll

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One of Wilmington’s ‘Most Wanted’ nabbed at traffic stop

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Wilmington police arrested one of New Hanover County’s “most wanted” during a traffic stop Monday at 1701 Dawson St.

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RiverLights project may add $2M to $3M to city’s tax base

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

For the second time in as many Wilmington City Council meetings, the city just got bigger.

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Largest ever voluntary annexation on the table

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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While many residents in Monkey Junction fought involuntary annexation, the thought of being annexed actually appeals to some people. An area developer wants to be annexed by the city of Wilmington. It will be the largest voluntary annexation the city has seen.

More than 1300 acres of land along River Road will soon be a self-contained residential and commercial property called Riverlights.

Developer Keith Hurand of Newland Communities wants his development to have a city address. “The city’s mixed used ordinance really allows us to complete that vision.”

Hurand says joining the city means more opportunity to spread out his development, making it energy efficient and pedestrian-friendly. “We’re allowed to put street trees in the medians, it allows us to put street trees in the right away, creating more of a parkway feel rather than a highway feel running through the community.”

River road is a state owned highway. That means, if this area is annexed, the city may be responsible not only for the land, but the part of River Road that the development sits on.

A city ordinance favors mixed communities like Riverlights, primarily because due to a government statute, cities have more flexibility when working with developers, than counties do.

“The spirit and intent of our community is to go out, and enjoy the environment, enjoy their neighbors, create a lot more of a livable factor, rather than the standard communities that you see in other areas,” Hurand said.

Financially, Hurand says staying in the county or the city makes no difference. What appeals to him, and his future development is the city’s emergency services, school systems and zoning rules.

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While many residents in Monkey Junction fought involuntary annexation, the thought of being annexed actually appeals to some people. An area developer wants to be annexed by the city of Wilmington.

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Associated poll

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