A Citizens Advisory Board

The Planning & Zoning Board is appointed by the Board of Aldermen and serves as an advisory body to the Board on issues that come before it.

The Planning Board makes recommendations about the city’s Unified Development Ordinance and specific development projects which must receive approval by the Board before proceeding.

There are seven members on the Planning board: 5 from within the city limits and 2 from the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). There is also one alternate for each area. Terms are for three years.

Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm

Location: Southport Community Building
223 East Bay Street
City of Southport, NC  28461

A. Powers and Duties

The Planning Board has the following responsibilities in relation to this ordinance:

  1. Acquire and maintain in current form such basic information and materials as are necessary to an understanding of past trends, present conditions, and forces at work to cause changes in these conditions.
  2. Prepare and from time to time amend and revise a comprehensive and coordinated plan for the physical, social, and economic development of the area.
  3. Establish goals and policies for guiding action in the development of the area.
  4. Prepare and recommend to the Board of Aldermen ordinances promoting orderly development along the lines indicated in the comprehensive plan.
  5. Review and recommend to the Board of Aldermen proposals for any zoning map or text amendment.
  6. Review and recommend to the Board of Aldermen applications for Major Subdivision Preliminary and Final Plats, as specified in this ordinance.
  7. Hear and decide applications for Major Site Plans, as specified in this ordinance.
  8. Determine whether specific proposed developments conform to the principles and requirements of the comprehensive plan for the growth and improvement of the area.
  9. Keep the Board of Aldermen and the general public informed and advised as to these matters.
  10. Make recommendations for the timely implementation of programs to meet the goals and policies as adopted in the comprehensive plan.
  11. Perform any other duties which may be lawfully assigned to it.
  12. The Planning Board shall review and report as recommendations to the Board of Aldermen upon the extent, location, and design of all public structures and facilities, on the acquisition and disposal of public properties, and on the establishment of building lines However, in the absence of a recommendation from the Planning Board, the Board of Aldermen may  after the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date on which the questions have been submitted in writing to the Planning Board for review and recommendation, take final action.
  13. Attend planning conferences or meetings of planning institutes or hearings upon pending planning legislation.

B. Membership, Vacancies, and Meetings

  1. The Planning Board shall consist of seven (7) members and two (2) alternate members. Five (5) members and one (1) alternate member shall be citizens and residents of the city and shall be appointed by the Board of Aldermen.  Two (2) members and (1) alternate member shall be citizens and residents of the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the city as described pursuant to NCGS 160D-307 and shall be appointed by the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. All members shall serve a term of three (3) years. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall serve a term of one (1) year and may be reappointed following the end of the term at the discretion of the Planning Board.
  2. The city clerk will advertise for vacancies when they occur.  All candidates, including board members whose terms are expiring and who are seeking reappointment, must have an application no less than 30 days prior to the Board of Aldermen meeting in which the selection(s) are made and [no older than 90 days prior to the date of vacancy] on file with the city clerk’s office and must inform the clerk they wish to be considered for the vacant position. All applicants must be interviewed by a committee, selected by the Board of Aldermen, consisting of two (2) Board of Aldermen members and the Chairman of the Planning Board. If the Chairman’s term is expiring and he/she wants to apply for reappointment, the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Board will be selected for the committee. The committee will make recommendations to the Board of Aldermen for the vacant position(s). Any citizen who has filed a current application and completed the interview shall be eligible for nomination.  Citizens who have not met these requirements are not eligible for nomination to the Planning Board.  The city clerk will place the applications of all candidates who meet these requirements in the agenda packets prior to the meeting in which the selection(s) are made.
  3. Alternate members shall not be entitled to vote on matters before the Planning Board except when a regular Planning Board member is absent from a duly called meeting.  In that situation, the alternate shall have the same privileges as the regular members and may count for quorum purposes and vote if a regular member is absent.  Vacancies occurring for reasons other than expiration of terms shall be filled as they occur for the period of the unexpired term. Faithful attendance at the meetings of the board is considered a pre- requisite for the maintenance of membership on the board.   Extraterritorial representatives shall have equal rights, privileges, and duties with the other members of the board to which they are appointed, regardless of whether the matters at issue arise within the city or within the extraterritorial area.
  4. Meetings of the Planning Board will normally occur on the third Thursday of the month at a time and place designated by the board and shall be open to the public.  A quorum shall consist of four (4) members of the board.
  5. All regular members may vote on any issue unless they have disqualified themselves for one or more of the reasons listed in Section 2.3(C).  A vote of a majority of the members present and voting shall decide issues before the board.
  6. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman. It shall be the duty of the Chairman to call such a meeting upon a recommendation of the board. During a special meeting, no other business may be considered except that which was specified by advanced notice.  The city clerk shall notify all members of the board in writing not less than five (5) days in advance of such special meeting.  Notice of time, place, and subject of such meeting shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the City of Southport when possible.
  7. The order of business at regular meetings shall be as follows:
    1. Call to Order;
    2. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings;
    3. Approval of the Agenda;
    4. Public Input;
    5. Unfinished Business;
    6. New Business;
    7. Announcements;
    8. The petitioner or applicant who is on the agenda may withdraw the petition or application at any time; but if a motion is pending to make a recommendation to grant or deny, such motion shall have precedence.

C. Rules of Conduct

Members of the Board may be removed for cause, including violation of any rule stated below:

  1. Faithful attendance at all meetings of the Board and conscientious performance of the duties required of members of the Board shall be considered a prerequisite of continuing membership on the Board. Absence from four (4) regularly scheduled Board meetings during any one calendar year shall be considered cause for a recommendation to the Board of Aldermen of dismissal from the Board.
  2. Members of the Planning Board shall not vote on recommendations regarding any zoning map, text amendment, or development approval where the outcome of the matter being considered is reasonably likely to have a direct, substantial, and readily identifiable financial impact on the member or where the member has a close familial, business, or other associational relationship.
  3. No board member shall discuss any case with any parties thereto prior to the meeting on that case; provided however, that members may receive and/or seek information pertaining to the case from any other member of the board, or staff prior to the meeting.  Board members shall disclose publicly any contact made by any party to a matter before the board.
  4. Members of the board shall not express individual opinions on the proper judgment of any case with any parties thereto prior to the board’s determination of that case.  Violation of this rule shall be cause for dismissal from the board.

D. Basic Studies

As background for its comprehensive plan and any ordinances it may prepare, the Planning Board may gather maps and aerial photographs of manmade and natural physical features of the area, statistics on past trends and present conditions with respect to population, property values, the economic base of the community, land use, and such other information as is important or likely to be important in determining the amount, direction, and kind of development to be expected in the area and its various parts.  The Planning Board may make studies as to the community’s social, economic, as well as its physical needs.  In addition, the Planning Board may make, cause to be made, or obtain special studies on the location, condition, and adequacy of specific facilities, which may include but are not limited to studies of housing; commercial and industrial facilities; parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities; public and private utilities; and traffic, transportation, and parking facilities.  All city officials shall, upon request, furnish to the Planning Board such available records or information as it may require in its work. The board or its agents may, in the performance of its official duties, enter upon lands and make examinations or surveys and maintain necessary monuments thereon.

E. Comprehensive Plan

  1. The comprehensive plan, with the accompanying maps, charts, and descriptive matter, shall be the Planning Board’s recommendations to the Board of Aldermen for the development of such territory, including, among other things, the general location, character, and extent of streets, bridges, boulevards, parkways, playgrounds, squares, parks, aviation fields, and other public ways, grounds, and open spaces; the general location and extent of public utilities and terminals, whether publicly or privately owned or operated, for water, light, sanitation, transportation, communication, power, and other purposes; the removal, relocation, widening, narrowing, vacating, abandonment, change of use, or extension of any of the foregoing ways, buildings, grounds, open spaces, property, utilities, or terminals; and the most desirable patterns of land use within the area.
  2. The plan and any ordinances or other measures to effectuate it shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted, and harmonious development of the city and its environs which will, in accordance with present and future needs, best promote health, safety, morals, and the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development; including, among other things, adequate provisions for traffic, the promotion of safety from fire and other dangers, adequate provision for light and air, the promotion of the healthful and convenient distribution of population, the promotion of good civic design and arrangement, wise and efficient expenditure of public funds, and the adequate provision of public utilities, services, and other public requirements and the improvement of the community social and economic attributes.

F. Zoning and Subdivision Regulations

  1. The Planning Board may initiate, from time to time, proposals for amendment of this ordinance, based upon its studies and comprehensive plan. In addition, it shall review and make recommendations to the Board of Aldermen concerning all proposed amendments to this ordinance.
  2. The Planning Board shall review, from time to time, the need for regulations for the control of land subdivision in the area and submit to the Board of Aldermen its recommendations, if any, for adoption or revision of such regulations.

G. Planning Board Procedures for Reporting to the Board of Aldermen

The Planning Board will submit copies of all minutes of its regular and special meetings to the Board of Aldermen. Minutes shall be submitted to the city clerk within seven (7) days of approval of the minutes by the Planning Board.

E. Advisory Council and Special Committees

  1. The Planning Board may establish an unofficial advisory council and may cooperate with this council to the end that its investigations and plans may receive the fullest consideration, but the board may not delegate to such advisory council any of its official prerogatives.
  2. The Planning Board may set up special committees, of up to three members, to assist in the study of specific questions and problems.


Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6:00 pm at the Community Building. 223 E. Bay Street Southport, N.C. 28461

Download the Planning Board Application Here

2023 Planning and Zoning Board Member Roster

Sue Hodgin, Chair608 Cottage Point Way
[email protected]
February 10, 20223 years
February 2025
Will Hewett, Vice Chair129 Cape Fear Drive
[email protected]
August 11, 20223 years
July 2025
Fred Fiss216 N. Atlantic Avenue
[email protected]
February 10, 20223 years
August 2023 (completing the term)
Christopher W. Jones1008 Dutchman Cove SE
[email protected]
March 12, 20203 years
March 2023
Scott Jones1001 Pete’s Camp Road
[email protected]
910-471-0802 (C)
August 14, 20203 years
August 2023
Donnie Joyner635 Jabbertown Road
[email protected]
August 14, 20203 years
August 2023
Richard Sloan509 E. Moore Street
[email protected]
February 10, 20203 years
February 2025
Travis Henley, Development Services Director1029 N. Howe Street[email protected]
Maureen “Mo” Meehan, City Planner1029 N. Howe Street[email protected]
910-457-7900 ext. 1043
Tanya Shannon, Deputy City Clerk1029 N. Howe Street[email protected]
John Allen, Aldermen Liaison1029 N. Howe Street[email protected]
Karen Mosteller, Aldermen Liaison1029 N. Howe Street[email protected]