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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
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~ ROW News ~
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.
It's the Holly Jolly celebration
Posted on Dec 10th, 2015 Comments (0)
Find your holiday spirit with the Holly Jolly celebration.  Downtown residents and businesses have decorated their homes and businesses.  The amazing Wilmington arts community will be out in force with singers and entertainers of all sorts. You won't want to miss it.  Get the complete schedule here and enjoy all the festivities.
Post Office Tree Planting Set for May 6
Posted on May 1st, 2015 Comments (0)
ROW will be planting trees at the Post Office next Wednesday May 6. 
Three Taxpayer Concerns
Posted on Feb 25th, 2015 Comments (0)
ROW President Paul Lawler addressed Wilmington's City Council and asked that three taxpayer concerns be addressed in the negotiations with East West Developers.  He asked that there be no developer subsidy, that the impact on parking fees be evaluated and that the developer be required to operate within the rules that apply to other Wilmington developers.  You can view the presentation HERE.  You'll need to scroll over to the 39 minute mark.
Conant Letter: How Will It Be Paid For?
Posted on Feb 22nd, 2015 Comments (0)
ROW member Scott Conant wrote a letter to the editor asking how the deck will be financed.  Click on THIS LINK to find his letter, it's the 3rd letter in the list.
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.
Give Your Input on Riverfront Park
Posted on May 29th, 2014 Comments (0)
What would you like to see at the new Riverfront Park?  The City purchased 6.6 acres close to the Isabelle Holmes Bridge for a new City Park.  Now they're trying to figure out what to do with the land.  It's a wide open space so almost anything is possible.  Wilmington's Parks Department has created a website that gives details about the park and seeks citizen input.  Let them know what you think.  Here's a LINK to the City's page.
Comments on Northern Riverfront Park
Posted on May 20th, 2014 Comments (0)
Wilmington will be holding a public input meeting on the Northern Riverfront Park.  It's set for May 22, in City Council Chambers and runs from 5:30 to 7 pm.  Folks interested in offering their thoughts on the development of the park, or to learn more about it are encouraged to attend.  The City's information on the project can be found HERE.  
ROW Awards Presented
Posted on May 19th, 2014 Comments (0)
Congratulations to Sherry Demas and William and Patricia Braswell! 
Sherry was presented with ROW's Good Neighbor Award Saturday.  The award recognizes a person who has gone above and beyond to be a good neighbor through his or her actions supporting neighbors and the neighborhood.  Sherry has been a mainstay of ROW serving as Mayor, Chair of the Back Door Kitchen Tour, has opened her home repeatedly for picnics and the first member event, and always supported ROW activities in many, many other ways.  Thank you Sherry!
The Braswells were named this year's winner of the Dolly Pearson Garden Award.  The committeee noted their use of perennials, the plantings in the Civic Plaza (the area between the curb and sidewalk), as well as the fountain, colorful flowers and statuary in the front sunken garden.  The award recognizes a beautiful garden with an emphasis on those that can be seen from the street and enjoyed by all. 

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~ Back Door Kitchen Tour News ~
Mark your calendars!  ROW's 2016 Back Door Kitchen Tour will be held Saturday October 15, 2016 from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M.  This is the 11th anniversary of ROW's much loved annual Back Door Kitchen Tour. BDKT Chair Ginger Garrard and ROW's BDKT Committee have a very special tour planned.  Among the nine beautiful homes and kitchens on tour this year, the 2016 BDKT Tour will feature:  a Front Street Mansion with a stunning Cape Fear River view; two beautifully remodeled Castle Street bungalows; a hidden gem artist's retreat; and two elegant examples of recent construction that fit right into the historic neighborhood. 
The Tour takes place in Wilmington's downtown residential Historic Districts.  In addition to the nine featured homes, ROW invites you walk our beautiful tree lined streets, with their famous "right-of-way" gardens, and experience our very special historic neighborhood. Let us show you why we love living downtown. 
The Tour will take place "rain or shine."  It is easily walk-able. The Tour houses are within a 6 block radius.
You may learn all the details about the 2016 Tour, including ticket information, and see a list of the 2016 Tour homes, by navigating to the Back Door Kitchen Tour page of this site. Here are some highlights about Tour tickets. 
Tickets are $30 the day of the Tour. There is also a discounted ticket price for groups of 10 or more, if the group purchase is made in advance of the Tour day. (See BDKT page, this site.) Tickets also may be purchased in advance, beginning Sept. 1 unless otherwise noted, at the following retail stores:
Finkelstein's, located at the corner of Front and Market Streets, Historic Downtown Wilmington  
Live Oak Bank, Brunswick County
The Ivy Cottage, Market Street, Wilmington
Harris Teeter stores in the greater Wilmington area (after Sept. 21)  
On the day of the Tour, tickets may be purchased at each of the nine Tour homes (listed on the BDKT page, this site) and at the Bellamy Mansion, 503 Market Street. Day of Tour credit card purchases may be made at Finkelstein's or participating Harris Teeters.  Credit card purchases cannot be processed at Tour homes or the Bellamy. If you purchase your tickets in advance online, or buy group tickets, you may pick them up on the day of the Tour at any Tour home or at the ROW table at Bellamy Mansion.
Again, please see the Back Door Kitchen Tour page on the ROW website for complete details.  
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.