A new state law gives the city of Wilmington the authority to extend its regulatory arm in an effort to preserve historic buildings. And the city’s planning department is working to implement it. The planning commission on Wednesday voted to amend the city’s land code to expand the demolition by neglect regulations outside the city’s historic district. The amendment would allow the city to exercise the regulations on historic buildings that are in the Central Business District but outside the designated historic district.
The goal is to prevent buildings from getting to a point of disrepair where they need to be demolished. The city sent letters to property owners whose buildings are considered contributing structures. The letters do not mean the buildings are in need of repair. The city will be able to go in and require homeowners to fix sagging walls, peeling paint or other structural problems or face fines. But the city intends to be flexible and work with property owners.
[...]The new state law stemmed from a request by the city council. The amendment will now go before city council.