On initial reading, the Gateway District (G1) Zoning sounds good. It states that it is “tailored to protect and enhance historic residential properties …”
The fact is, this is a zoning change affecting over 350 parcels. Permitted uses will include Business Service, Equipment Services, Food Service and Personal Service. All of these categories list examples of possible uses, but they all include the phrase, “not limited to”, which opens up a huge range of options.
Parking lots for up to 10 vehicles will be permitted if the lot size is adequate. Lighting and signage will be permitted with some limitations. Hours of operation for these businesses were not listed, leaving that wide open.
Why re-zone all of these parcels when there are so many empty storefronts already in Wilmington? As I see it, someone could purchase any of these parcels, turn it into any number of businesses, dig up the backyard for a parking lot, put up signs and lighting and have no restrictions on hours of operation.
Take time to read the G1 ordinance. The opening comments are simply a smokescreen. Keep reading!
Vote “no” on Gateway.