Wilmington City Council addressed the application presented by the firm Shanklin and Nichols, LLP on behalf of Baily and Associates developers to allow for a special height increase to one of three multi-purpose buildings the developers plan to build along Wrightsville Avenue between Canal Street and Summer Rest Road.
The special use permit presented by Matthew Nichols and Chris Baily requested that City Council approve the increase in height of the building, from 45 to 60 feet.
While the developers and those in favor of the project claimed that it would not hinder the beauty of the area, but enhance it, there were many of those opposed who spoke during the public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 3, about the project’s faults. The chief argument raised among members of the public who opposed—many of whom were residents of the Summer Rest neighborhood—was that a 60-foot structure would not be harmonious with the area’s surrounding.
City council members Laura Padgett, Kevin O’Grady and mayor pro tem Earl Sheridan echoed this concern, all of whom voted against, with the addition of councilman Neil Anderson.
After the hearing, Town of Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti was pleased with the ruling.
“The town really wanted the extensive efforts of those responsible for the Wrightsville Sound Small Area Plan—which outlined what was in the best interest for that community—to be acknowledged, because it was a joint effort between the City of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach,” Cignotti said.