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ROW is all about improving our Neighborhood with · Back Door Kitchen Tour · Annual Membership Picnic · Newsletter · Holiday Party · Representation on City Boards · Monthly Meetings · Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner· Wilkinson Alley Maintenance· Fire Fighters Appreciation Luncheon · Grants to Nonprofits · Good Neighbor Award · Work On Wilmington Project ·Azalea Pride · Family Involvement ·Election Year Candidates Forum · Regular Meetings · New Business Snapshots · Membership Directory · Elected Board · Dolly Pearson Garden Award · And its all by volunteers
 
Find out more about ROW on this website or by contacting and participating today!

 
 
~ ROW News ~
ROW and HWF Submit Proposed Brick Street Preservation Policy to the City
Posted on Nov 13th, 2016 Comments (0)
Wilmington's historic brick streets are important cultural and economic assets of the City. Yet many are covered in, or patched with, asphalt and are in disrepair. Significantly, the City has not updated it's brick street policy since 1987. Earlier this year, the City asked for public input on brick streets through two meetings and an on-line survey. Wilmington's citizens overwhelmingly expressed a strong desire to preserve our brick streets. Many recognize that our brick streets contribute significantly to Wilmington's unique beauty; define our historic districts; promote tourism; attract the film industry; increase property values; calm traffic; and are more environmentally friendly than asphalt streets.  

In June 2016, City staff released a proposed brick street policy that was limited to a narrow issue: what to do when brick streets are disturbed by a utility cut or other disturbance.  ROW and HWF commended the staff on its good work to produce a proposed policy. However, for those of us who love our brick streets, this was a good start but it did not go far enough. It is not a preservation policy and contains no plan or funding for the restoration and  preservation of brick streets. 

In July, ROW and HWF went to action, forming a Brick Streets Working Group comprised of Charles Boney, Jr., Terry Bragg, George Edwards, Sylvia Kochler, Gene Merritt, Dale Nixon, and Maggie O'Connor.  The group researched brick street technical studies and policies of other cities; they met, exchanged ideas, and deliberated. The group found that while the repair and restoration of brick streets require significant upfront investment, they are more cost effective than asphalt streets over the long run. This is because a properly laid brick street can last more than 150 years with little maintenance, while a similarly traveled asphalt street lasts only 10 to 15 years and may require constant repair.  The group concluded that because brick streets are so durable and contribute so significantly to the City's economy and beauty, it is in the best interests of the City to invest in their preservation.  Moreover, if the investment is made over a 20 year period, it would be both cost effective and affordable.  

On August 16, 2016 the ROW/HWF Brick Streets Working Group submitted to the City a proposal entitled "A Comprehensive Preservation Policy for Wilmington's Streets Paved with Historic Materials," and asked the City to adopt a brick street preservation policy with terms like those contained in the ROW/HWF proposal.  City staff continues to work on an updated new brick street policy for Wilmington. We anticipate a policy will be submitted to Council for its consideration before the end of 2016. For more information about the ROW/HWF proposal to preserve Wilmington's iconic brick streets please click on "Read More."  

 
Read More >>
 
ROW 2016 Good Neighbor and Beautiful Garden Awards Presented
Posted on May 19th, 2016 Comments (0)
Congratulations to Ann and Robert Erb and Karen and Tom Behm! 
 
Ann and Robert Erb were presented with ROW's Good Neighbor Award in May 2016.  The award recognizes people who have gone above and beyond to be a good neighbors through their actions supporting neighbors and the neighborhood.  Robert has been a mainstay of ROW serving as Mayor and leading and supporting many ROW projects and initiatives. Ann is a longtime Back Door Kitchen Tour volunteer and has chaired ROW's annual the holiday party for many years. They both are also very active in the community beyond ROW. For a more complete list of Ann's and Robert's ROW and community contributions, please click on "Read More" below.  Thank you, Robert and Ann!
 
Karen and Tom Behm were named this year's winner of the Dolly Pearson Garden Award.  The committee noted their use of perennials, the plantings in the Civic Plaza (the area between the curb and sidewalk), as well as their unique garden ornaments.  The award recognizes a beautiful garden with an emphasis on those that can be seen from the street and enjoyed by all. Thank you, Karen and Tom!  
Read More >>
 
WHY WILMINGTON'S ZONING CODE SHOULD NOT BE CHANGED TO PERMIT SHORT TERM VACATION RENTAL BUSINESSES TO OPERATE IN RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS.  
Posted on Mar 14th, 2016 Comments (0)
Introduction and Summary
 
Like many tourist destination cities, Wilmington is considering how to regulate short term vacation rental businesses.  These businesses rent houses, apartments or condos to vacationers for very short periods of time, often a couple of days or a weekend. They are marketed and booked through Internet websites such as VRBO.com. Most often the owner of the property is not on site; he or she may not even live in Wilmington.  
 
One important question is whether Wilmington's zoning Code should be changed to permit the operation of vacation rental businesses in neighborhoods zoned single family residential. Under the current Code, such businesses are not permitted to operate in residential districts. The City is seeking public input on this and related questions at a meeting on March 17 at Forest Hills Elementary School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
 
This is an important issue for ALL of Wilmington's residential neighborhoods because short term vacation rental businesses are operating in most of them, including the downtown historic district and “street car” neighborhoods and neighborhoods near Airlie Gardens and the Cape Fear Country Club. If the zoning laws are changed to permit these businesses to operate in neighborhoods, there will be many more of them in more neighborhoods. 
 
The City has done a preliminary study of the problem.  The City found that the “majority” of short term vacation rentals are not “readily identifiable” by the City. They are marketed online and rarely have a sign out front. The City estimates “there are likely more than 100 short-term rentals…in operation within the city.”  Most troubling, the City found that the MAJORITY of them are operating in violation of City zoning laws. In a February agenda briefing with City Council, City staff conceded that enforcement of the Code, as it currently is written, is almost impossible. The City lacks sufficient resources to regulate internet based businesses that play "catch me if you can" with Code Enforcement officers.  

Some owners of short term vacation rental businesses claim that their guests are affluent tourists who quietly enjoy staying in a neighborhood and that the owners must keep their properties well maintained to attract such tourists. In fact, the affluent tourist is only one type of visitor using short term vacation rentals. There are many others who rent a house for the weekend because they plan to engage in activities a hotel or motel will not tolerate: large groups of people staying in too few rooms, engaged in late night, loud partying. There are numerous short term rental owners in our neighborhoods willing to rent to this market, and these owners have less incentive to properly maintain their properties. Even responsible short term vacation rental businesses sometime rent to these groups, because they generally not on site and they do not know what their guests are doing on the property.
Read More >>
 
ROW's 2015 Post Office Palm Tree Planting Has Added Great Beauty to Downtown!
Posted on May 1st, 2015 Comments (0)
ROW planted 26 Sabal Palms at the Post Office on Wednesday May 6, 2015. Joe Pawlik spearheaded the project with the help of ROW members Robert Erb, Paul Mason, Sylvia Kochler and others. The palms are thriving and look magnificent!    
 
ROW Speaks Out on Water Street Deck Proposals
Posted on Jan 28th, 2015 Comments (0)
ROW presented its view on the Water Street Deck proposals in the Star News.  You can read it at  The ROW View.  ROW commends the City for seeking a replacement for the Water Street Deck but decries the large taxpayer subsidy expected by developers.
 
Do you have a comment on this or other issues facing Wilmington?  Let your City Council know.  You can reach all Council members at Council@WilmingtonNC.gov 
 
 
ROW Presents Grant to Blue Ribbon Commission
Posted on Jun 3rd, 2014 Comments (0)
           ROW presented its grant to the Blue Ribbon Commission today.  The grant will fund a summer program for DC Virgo students at Kids Making It.  Jana Jones Hall (left), along with Jimmy Pierce of KMI, accepted the grant from ROW board members Paul Lawler, Scott Conant, Mike McGinty, Paul Mason and Sylvia Kochler.  WWAY covered the presentation and you can see their story HERE.
 
Council Moves Ahead on DFI Proposal
Posted on Apr 29th, 2014 Comments (0)
Wilmington City Council held a work session yesterday, April 28, to look into concerns with the DFI proposal to replace the water street deck with a two tower building.  They approved the DFI proposal with 325 public parking spaces and a waiver to exceed height limitations provided the design meets some yet to be determined criteria.  No substantive changes were made to the DFI proposal. 
 
Council to Study Water Street Proposal
Posted on Apr 9th, 2014 Comments (0)
Wilmington City Council took the Water Street Deck proposal off the agenda at their last meeting and will hold a work session to consider concerns raised by ROW, the HWF and other members of the public.  It is now scheduled to be reconsidered at the May 6, Council meeting.  Interested parties can contact all Council members at council@wilmingtonnc.gov and share their views. 
 
ROW Asks for Options to 15 Story Tower
Posted on Mar 5th, 2014 Comments (0)
ROW's members have voted to ask the City to look at options other than the proposed 15 story tower/parking deck for the Water Street Parking Deck.  The City contracted with Development Finance Initiative out of the Institute of Government at UNC-Ch. More can be found at: http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/news/2014/02/19/water-st-deck
 
Remembering Dolly Pearson
Posted on Feb 24th, 2014 Comments (0)
A good friend of ROW and Wilmington has left us with a wealth of memories and inspiration.  Dolly Pearson epitomized the term "good neighbor."  She was always upbeat about life and welcomed everyone to her city and her neighborhood.  ROW recognized her contributions to our neighborhood when it presented its second annual Good Neighbor award to her, held a 100th birthday party for her and named the garden award the Dolly Pearson Beautiful Garden award.  The City also recognized her on her 100th birthday by declaring the day Dolly Pearson Day.  We look to her for inspiration as we strive to make Wilmington a better place.  ROW's condolences go to her family and especially members Muriel and Sarah Pearson.   The Star News warmly recalled her amazing life in a Ben Steelman article.  You can read the article here.
 
A memorial service will be held for Dolly at First Presbyterian.  It is set for Thursday March 6, at 2 pm.  A reception will follow.
Read More >>
 

 
~ Upcoming Events ~
Wilmington's Annual Holiday Parade
Sunday, December 4th, Beginning 5 p.m. at Downtown Wilmington, along Front Street, from Walnut to Church Streets.
Look for ROW's entry in Wilmington's annual Holiday Parade, which will honor ROW volunteers and past Mayors. They are among the hundreds of ROW members who have worked to make downtown Wilmington an even better place to live, work, and visit since 1973.  ROW's entry will feature a decorated horse drawn carriage provided by Springbrook Farms.   
 
Historic Wilmington Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll
Friday, December 9th to Saturday, December 10th, From 4:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at Historic Downtown Wilmington
Residents of Old Wilmington is once again joining other downtown organizations to spearhead Historic Wilmington’s Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll, downtown’s signature holiday event.  The Holly Jolly will take place December 9 and 10, 2016. A Kickoff, with live choral entertainment by Westermark Voice Studio, is scheduled for December 9 at 4:30 p.m. in First Bank’s Water Garden at 201 Market Street. The public is invited to attend the Kickoff and the Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll.  Both are free, family friendly and fun. 
 
The Holly Jolly will feature a wide range of holiday sights, sounds, flavors and activities in the historic downtown area and along what USA Today voted America’s Best Waterfront. Downtown will be beautifully decorated. Over 30 businesses are expected to enter a window decorating contest. ROW members and many of thier neighbors in the residential historic districts will adorn their homes with lights and decorations, and Historic Wilmington Foundation will lead walking tours of the beautifully decorated neighborhoods.  Downtown merchants will offer refreshments and holiday gift ideas in an “open house” setting. Street musicians, choral groups and other entertainers will be strategically placed along the way. Of course, Santa will make appearances at various times and locations as well.
 
The Holly Jolly is presented by ROW, the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County, Downtown Wilmington Incorporated, and the Downtown Business Alliance. For more information, including a complete list of Holly Jolly and other downtown holiday activities, please visit www.hollyjollywilmington.com. The site will be continually updated with seasonal activities as the holidays approach. You may also contact  Sylvia Kochler, Mayor, Residents of Old Wilmington, skkochler@gmail.com or Ed Wolverton, WDI President & CEO, Ed@wilmingtondowntown.com.
 
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View All Events

~ Back Door Kitchen Tour News ~
ROW's 11th annual 2016 Back Door Kitchen Tour was held Saturday October 15, 2016 and it was a great success. Over 500 visitors toured nine beautiful homes and kitchens in Wilmington's downtown residential Historic Districts. 
 
ROW thanks the following businesses who were Sponsors or Friends of the 2016 Tour:
 
I. GOLD SPONSORS
Plantation Building Corp.            910-763-8760              info@plantationbuildingcorp.com            www.plantationbuildingcorp.com
 
Carolina Retirement Planners      910-815-3100              info@carolinarp.com            www.carolinaretirementplanners.com
 
II. SILVER SPONSORS
Ferguson Kitchen Appliances       910-343-0334    wilmington2717.showroom@ferguson.com       www.shop.ferguson.com
 
Southeastern Tile                       910-799-5565              info@setileconnection.com                www.setileconnection.com
 
The Ivy Cottage                         910-815-0907              threecottages3@yahoo.com                 www.threecottages.com
 
III. BRONZE SPONSORS
Brandon Parrow Cabinetry          910-367-2121              brandonparrow545@gmail.com        
 
Hollingsworth Cabinetry             910-251-1490              dpreast@hollingsworthcabinetry.com    www.hollingsworthcabinetry.com
 
Network Realty                          910-772-1622              nre@networkwilmington.com            www.networkwilmington.com
 
Patricia Barrow, Artist `             910-769-0743              pixbarrow@gmail.com                        www.patriciabarrow.com
 
IV. FRIENDS OF THE TOUR
Cape Fear Spice Merchants         910-772-2980              cfspicemerchants@charter.net        
 
Bellamy Mansion Museum           910-251-3700              www.bellamymansion.org
 
Front Street Brewery                  910-251-1935              www.frontstreetbrewery.com
 
Caprice Bristro                           910-815-0810              www.capricebistro.com
 
Indochine                                  910-251-9229              www.indochinewilmington.com
           
Historic Wilmington Fdn.            910-762-2511                www.historicwilmington.org
 
Pinpoint                                    910-769-2972                www.pinpiontrestaurant.com
 
Apple Annies                             910-799-9023                www.appleanniesbakeshop.com
 
City Club                                   910-343-1880                www.cityclubofwilmington.com
 
Pilot House                                910-343-0200                www.pilothouserest.com
 
Finkelstein's                               910-763-7377               www.finkelsteins.com
 
Area Harris Teeter Stores                                                www.harristeeter.com
 
Please see the Back Door Kitchen Tour page on the ROW website for more information about ROW's Back Door Kitchen Tour. The Backdoor Kitchen Tour is the only fundraiser for Residents of Old Wilmington (ROW), an all volunteer  non-profit neighborhood association dedicated to enhancing our beautiful historic downtown. Proceeds go  back into our community for beautification, preservation, restoration, and other improvements, both through ROW projects and community-based grants to other non-profits. If you have questions, please contact us at bdkt@rowilmington.org
 
Visit the BDKT page for more information or to sign up for emailed updates about the Tour.  Click Here for BDKT Page.
 
 
Sign Up For an Automatic Tour Reminder
 
You may also sign up for an automatic reminder as we get close to the tour date.  Click HERE to sign up to be on the BDKT emailing list.