Wilmington city leaders will address code issues, resident conce - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington city leaders will address code issues, resident concerns over breweries


Wilmington officials will provide information and look for input from residents on the city's brewery initiative at a meeting being held Thursday, May 29.

Over the past year, city officials have received inquiries from several craft brewers interested in locating or expanding in Wilmington.

Currently, breweries are not identified as a specific type of business in city code resulting in confusion and delays in permitting.

In response to this confusion, city officials are working to clarify the code and at this meeting, residents will be asked to provide input about possible changes in the code.

The meeting will be held at City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Philip Prete, a Senior Planner with the City of Wilmington, had the following to say when asked about concerns or excitement the city has received for residents:

"That is the primary reason we are hosting the meeting - to hear any concerns that citizens might have - so we will know more afterward.  We expect the biggest concerns being whether they are compatible with surrounding land uses.  We also expect some concerns that this might be an expansion of nightclub type activity, but this is a different business model from a traditional night club.  Craft brewers cater to quality rather than quantity consumption and they tend to close earlier than night clubs to attend to the craft of brewing, which is their primary business."

"There is a lot of excitement in the brewery community and with people who enjoy the cultural component of the craft brewing industry.  Many people have been to other communities such as Asheville where they have enjoyed tremendous success and are actually seeing their craft breweries becoming a niche tourist destination much like wineries are in the wine regions.  There is also a lot of potential for these entrepreneurs to take advantage of underutilized buildings and repurpose them in a way that helps to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods."

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