Church sign OK’d

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Father Joe Vetter of St. Therese Catholic Church requested a text amendment to the town’s business and name sign ordinance during the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board’s Tuesday, July 2 meeting. Vetter said St. Therese would like to install a sign in the church’s parking lot, which is in between Waynick Boulevard and South Lumina Avenue, that would direct people to the church because the building is not visible from the more travelled Waynick Boulevard. Vetter said the church did have a sign up on a piece of property it owned across Waynick Boulevard on Banks Channel but that the church sold that property 13 years ago. 

The ordinance change suggested by town planning staff included the provision that only churches erect signage on a lot owned by the church and within 300 feet of the main entrance of the church. 

The planning board voted unanimously 4-0 to forward a favorable recommendation for the text amendment to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen. 

The Wrightsville Beach Planning Board was short one member at Tuesday’s meeting due to Walt DeVries’ resignation from the board following his relocation outside the town of Wrightsville Beach. Planning board member Janice Clark was also in attendance at the meeting after the board of aldermen agreed to allow her to resume her duties despite having surpassed the maximum of four absences allowed to planning board members. 

The board also approved the inclusion of language in the town’s ordinance regulating business parking requirements to provide clarity for the provisions for non-contiguous parking lots. 

Town planning and parks director Tony Wilson said the issue of clarity in the ordinance was brought to light when Joe’s Crab Shack proposed to lease non-contiguous parking near the Kohl’s department store on Racine Drive. 

The current ordinance would not have allowed the proposal because it stipulates that non-contiguous lots must be within 400 feet of the main entrance to the building; however, town attorney John Wessell requested planning board insert that stipulation earlier in the ordinance as well to provide clarity and reinforcement. 

Wilson said he has not been approached by any representatives from Joe’s Crab Shack since the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen chose not to grant a Conditional Use Permit that would have allowed the chain to open a location in the Johnnie Mercer’s Pier House. 


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