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The comment period for Wilmington's new land use code is open

At the city-county joint meeting on April 27th, elected officials heard a lot about the need for more dense development across the board. That’s what’s needed to address the affordable housing crunch, advocates said.

But Glenn Harbeck, Wilmington’s planning, development and transportation director, said the city is already increasing density in many of its residential areas with the new land use code, currently under review.

Smaller residential lots are now allowed more density -- meaning structures like duplexes and townhouses. Bigger residential lots, like those single family zones around South College with houses set back far from the road, will allow granny flats or carriage houses. They’ll also allow cottage court developments, which place several small cottages around a shared courtyard on one large lot.

As for bigger developments, Harbeck said they’re being placed very carefully, including along major bus routes.

“If we do a multifamily development, want to put it near the grocery store, or near an employment center, or, you know, where we can be more intelligent about not generating traffic, but rather by mixing up the uses, we can have the people go from use to use to use by without ever getting in the car.”

The land use code is currently in a public comment period, and will likely see a vote before council in the summer.

Those hoping to weigh in can submit comments through a webform on the right side of this webpage, or can call 910-341-0055 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Kelly Kenoyer, WHQR News.

Kelly Kenoyer is an Oregonian transplant new to the East Coast. She attended University of Oregon’s School of Journalism as an undergraduate, and later received a Master’s in Journalism from University of Missouri- Columbia. Contact her on Twitter @Kelly_Kenoyer or by email: KKenoyer@whqr.org.