WILMINGTON -- A ban on building permits for the area around the ailing Northeast Interceptor sewage line went into effect Thursday.
The new restriction is the lastest addition to a moratorium that was first put in place in May of 2006 due to several major sewer spills in the area. Since then, the restricted area has grown. It's now the east side of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.
Developer Jeff Stokley has several sites in the works by Costco and the Olive Garden. While that area isn't affected, he says he's still feeling the impact.
"I do not think the state realizes what they've done today by shutting down the building industry throughout New Hanover County. It's not just the NEI now. It's the entire county because everyone is scared."
Jonathan Barfield leads a Wilmington realtors group. He says the ban will hurt more than developers.
"It's bad all the way around. There's gonna be a tremendous impact on the market here. Homes being built, contractors, heating, plumbing, big impact on the area."
While the ban was put in place by the state, local officials are trying to help ease the situation. Mayor Bill Saffo is asking everyone to be patient. The city and county are working on a formal response to the state that they hope will result in the lifting of the building permit ban.
Reported by Sarah Warlickhttp://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?s=6498179