Wilmington population expected to increase more than 50% over next several years

Wilmington population expected to increase more than 50% over next several years

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington is gearing up for a population boom expected over the next several years.

City officials predict the population in Wilmington and New Hanover County will increase by 56 percent between 2010 and 2040. That's nearly double the rate of North Carolina as a whole, according to a release issued by the city.

A growth of that proportion poses several challenges for infrastructure, as vacant buildable land is scarce. Only about 13 percent of the city's total land remains available for development.

Staff from the City of Wilmington revealed six land-use map proposals at an open meeting on Wednesday. They hope to present their proposals to City Council in Summer 2015.

Each map focuses on a different component of growth: mixed-use centers, areas of opportunity for construction, streets, transit, Green connections and open spaces, and the character of each area of town.

Wilmington Senior Long Range Planner Christine Hughes said the area where people will likely notice the most expansion is downtown.

"Most of our vacant lots are small. they are two acres or less and they don't really pop up like major development sites but they're there and we can infill them and make better use of some of our already developed sites and maximize their potential," said Hughes.

For a more detailed description and to add your input, you can visit www.connectwilmington.org.

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