courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 227,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

County ManagerNew Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as Chief Administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government operates on a $352.1 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2016 and ends June 30, 2017, serving more than 220,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the County to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the County’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior public health, safety and education, intelligent growth and economic development, productive strategic partnerships, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the County Manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as Assistant County Manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Coudriet has twenty years of public administration experience, with more than a decade as a county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and along with his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery, and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

New Hanover County’s First Comprehensive Plan

Posted July 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I am pleased to tell you that the very first Comprehensive Plan – “Plan NHC” – has been adopted in New Hanover County. This is a historic achievement, and it charts the course for our next 25 years of economic development and land use. Thank you to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and Planning Board, the countless citizens, stakeholders, and staff experts who all worked together to create a plan that will be successfully implemented in the years to come.

The process of developing Plan NHC began in July 2013. After three years of extensive research and community input, the final draft of Plan NHC was unanimously approved by our Board of Commissioners on July 11, 2016. I encourage you to watch the final presentation here and visit  to view the entire plan.

This is a first for our county, and it furthers our commitment to being the model of good governance. Below is a recent county news release about the significance of Plan NHC:

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the county’s first Comprehensive Plan , Plan NHC, at the July 11, 2016 board meeting. This approval provides a path for New Hanover County’s economic development and provides a direct vision for the county’s future.

Plan NHC is a series of reports, including statistical and historical information, and provides a detailed implementation plan that will help achieve the overall vision for the future of New Hanover County with a focus on a more mixed-use style of land use. It will provide guidance to elected officials and staff on development and redevelopment proposals, zoning regulations, policies, programs and initiatives that will sustain New Hanover County as a vibrant, prosperous and diverse coastal community.

“This is a historic action for the county and this Board of Commissioners,” said Chairman Beth Dawson. “The county’s very first long-range Comprehensive Plan will guide all of us as we plan for the growth and future business in New Hanover County. It is going to direct the choices we make and the policies we create, so that future generations are able to work and thrive in this beautiful county.”

By 2040, the population in New Hanover County is expected to be more than 57% larger than it is today. Plan NHC notes that, with this growth, there is a need for responsible development. “Plan NHC takes into account the county’s current infrastructure and the need to preserve our natural resources,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “It will help increase economic development and ensure that stewardship remains a top priority.”

Plan NHC was led by the county’s Planning staff and developed with extensive community input, including meetings, theme committees, public discussions, and Planning Board recommendations. Divided into five chapters, the plan can be read in its entirety at

Proposal Would Bring Water & Sewer Service To U.S. 421 Industrial Corridor

Posted June 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

In May, I wrote an Insight column for The Greater Wilmington Business Journal about the proposed $16.7 million project to extend water and sewer service to the U.S. 421 corridor in … Read More »

New Hanover County Receives Historic Wilmington Foundation Awards

Posted May 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Last week, New Hanover County and the Board of Commissioners received two awards for the county’s contributions to making downtown better. The awards went to our 320 Chestnut building renovation and the new CFCC Humanities … Read More »

New Hanover County Receives Triple-A Bond Rating

Posted April 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

I have great news to share!  New Hanover County has again received a Triple-A bond rating, the highest rating a county can achieve, from both Moody’s Investor Services (Moody’s) and … Read More »

Get Acquainted With New Hanover County’s Parks

Posted April 12, 2016 at 10:30 am

In March, I wrote an Insight column for The Greater Wilmington Business Journal reminding our community about our great county parks and the upcoming improvements being made. They are your parks and … Read More »

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