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County Launches "Comprehensive Plan" to Address Projected Population Growth

Some experts predict New Hanover County’s population will exceed 330,000 people by 2040—a significant hike from its current count of about two hundred thousand. And there are only about 24,000 undeveloped acres left, most of which comprise unincorporated county land. To address the development necessary to accommodate this growth,  the county planning department is launching a comprehensive plan—and seeking public input.

The county is working with consultants to examine current land-use capacity, compact patterns of development that emphasize conservation, and more efficient development of housing, transportation and jobs. This is according to Jennifer Rigby, plan project manager, who’s gathered several players to present infrastructure and demographic information at a public meeting next Thursday.

"We have invited all of the agencies that are currently undergoing their own planning initiatives to come and participate in this process, so the public can have a one-stop shop, and have answers to all of their planning-related questions."

These agencies include the City of Wilmington, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and a group called Focus, an EPA-funded sustainability organization. Rigby says the planning department will collect citizen suggestions at the meeting, and that they’ll be setting up public committees and neighborhood meetings within the month.

***For more information on Thursday’s public meeting, which takes place from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. at the government center, visit the county planning & inspections department's website.