Jul 22, 2008

Greensboro City Attorney Terry Wood Answers Coalition Questions

The coalition had asked the City of Greensboro Attorney Terry Wood a few questions about the History of Protest Petitions and what the future holds.
Here is the results.

Protest Petition Information

In response to your questions I have found the
following information. Some information is not available and that fact
will be so indicated.


1. When and where was the meeting in 1971 held to request that
Greensboro be exempted from the protest petition?

Our Council Minutes reflect that the request for exemption was
included with the “Legislative Program” of the City Council which was
adopted by Council on 21 December 1970 at a regular meeting of the
Council which was at the old City Council meeting room. The meeting
room was in the Annex Building (210 Greene Street, now demolished) near
the corner of Gaston Street (now Friendly) and Greene Street. It was
called the Municipal Office Building, City Council Chamber, Room 204.
There were 15 different items listed on the Legislative Program. We did
not find any other previous reference to the exemption in the Minutes.

2. What City Council member(s) sponsored the bill?

The Motion to adopt the Legislative Program was made by Vance H.
Chavis. There is no recorded discussion in the

Minutes of any of the “Legislative Program” items. Of the seven members
on the Council at the time six were present and voted in favor of the
“Legislative Program.” W. L. Trotter, Jr.; Jimmie I. Barber; Vance H.
Chavis; H. J. Elam III; Charles W. Phillips, Jr.; and Mary P. Seymour.
E. S. (Jim) Melvin is listed as absent from the meeting at the time the
vote was taken but entered later.

3. What was the reason for requesting this bill?

As stated in the previous answer there was no recorded discussion
of the Legislative Program so the reasons behind the inclusion of the
exemption from the protest petition are not discernable. Different
Council Members may have had different reasons, but we are uninformed as
to what those reasons may have been.

4. Who sponsored the bill in the NC House of Representatives and

The Legislative Bill Research Division of the North Carolina
Legislature informs us that the Original Bill was introduced by Rep.
Henry Frye in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

5. Why weren't the people of Greensboro informed about the 37 year
absence of the protest petition rather than being informed thorough the

The Council Minutes reflect it in the Legislative Program adopted
at a regular Council meeting and the printed N. C. Legislative records
reflect its adoption as Session Law 1971, Chapter 29, on February 25,
1971. I cannot speak to what publicity, or lack thereof, this matter
received at the time it became effective or over the years.

6. Does a property owner with or without legal council, who brings a
zoning case before the City have the right to submit a valid protest
petition to Greensboro City Council? Can City Council honor the protest

Without repeal of Greensboro’s exemption from the protest petition
statute Greensboro has no authority to invoke the protest petition (that
is the 3/4’s vote) process.

7. No question numbered 7. was included in your e-mail.

There was no question numbered 7.

8. When does the Greensboro City Council's agenda for the NC General
Assembly long session begin? When does it have to be completed? When
will it be available to the public? Where is it made available to the

The 2009 session of the NC Legislature begins January 28, 2009. The
actual date when the requested legislation must be delivered to the
Legislature will not be set by the Legislature until a week or 10 days
after that when the Legislature sets its calendar. Council usually
begins to determine its Legislative Agenda about three or four months
prior to the January date. Most often it is initially presented and
discussed in “Briefing Sessions” held in the Plaza Level Conference room
in the Melvin Municipal Office Building. These briefing sessions are
open to the public but no final action may be taken at them by Council.
It will eventually be on a Regular Meeting agenda for further discussion
or adoption.

Our Council agendas, including Regular Meetings, Special Meetings and
Briefing Sessions are posted on the City’s website as soon as they are
available. Regular meetings are the first and third Tuesdays each month
and the briefing sessions are the fourth Tuesday of each month. That’s
the easiest way to keep track of the items being covered.

9. What is the position of Greensboro today to the protest petition?

This Office cannot comment on the City’s position since the City
Council would make that determination.

I hope this answers your questions and we appreciate your interest. We
do not have any further information. If you still desire to meet, or
discuss this matter, I will be happy to do so. Please give my Office a
call or e-mail me.


Terry Wood

City Attorney


We would like to thank the City of Greensboro Attorney for answering our questions. The pressure needs to be put on the City of Greensboro to put this on the Legislative Agenda for the Long Session of the State Legislature starting in January of 2009. If the City of Greensboro does nothing on this isue it will be duly noted and if they want to see a major wedge issue for the fall of 2009 City elections let this issue linger even more.Our coalition is not going away and will get even bigger as time goes by.

Jul 17, 2008

The Rhinoceros Times July 17, 2008 on Page 57 Protest Petition Letter

The Rhinoceros Times for July 17, 2008 has a Letter to the Editor on page 57 with the title "Time To Protest"in regards to Protest Petitions for Greensboro. We would like to thank the Rhino for allowing this letter to be printed. The issue of Protest Petitions for Greensboro will not be swept under the rug and if the powers to be think that this will go away, think again.

Once the Rhinoceros Times has the updated edition of the paper online it will be linked.

There are somethings that can be done right now to further the progress of bringing back Protest Petitions to Greensboro.
Please e-mail, write, or call your State Representatives below. Let them know that you want Protest Petitions back in Greensboro.

Alma Adams Almaa@ncleg.netJohn Blust Johnbl@ncleg.netPricey Harrison Priceyh@ncleg.netMaggie Jeffus Maggiej@ncleg.netEarl Jones Earlj@ncleg.netLaura Wiley Lauraw@ncleg.netState SenateKatie Dorsett Katied@ncleg.net
Phil Berger
also there are 2 people who are going to be vying for Kay Hagan's Senate seat District 27 , they are Joe Wilson click here and Don Vaughan click here

The City of Greensboro also needs to hear from their citizens, below is a link to the Greensboro e-mail center


Please e mail them to let them know you want Protest Petitions back in Greensboro .

Jul 15, 2008

This is Why Protest Petitions are Needed in Greensboro

A new article in the Greensboro News and Record by Amanda Lehmert with the caption "City Council Reverses Development" on 7-15-08 click here is a main reason why Greensboro needs to bring back Protest Petitions.

This neighborhood off of Rehobeth Church Road argued their case a few months ago to not allow Keystone Realty to build another apartment complex next to their single family homes. Now with a few trees and a fence it is ok now.

If this rezoning case happened in any other city in this state of North Carolina , I am sure they would have used their right to a Protest Petition under North Carolina General Statute 160a-385 and 386. Since Greensboro exempted themselves from Protest Petitions but every other city abides by this law it is in you court to e-mail Dianne Bellamy-Small and Goldie Wells to let them know that this is not acceptable that every other city in this state has this right to a Protest Petition why not Greensboro

Please e-mail your Greensboro City Council to let them know that this is unacceptable and to say to them,"Bring Back Protest Petitions to Greensboro"
here is the link Greensboro City Council E-Mail Center

Jul 10, 2008

What Does Protest Petitions , Census Bureau , and Top 10 Cities for Growth have in Common

While looking through the Greensboro News and Record on Thursday July 10, 2008, there was a A3 article from the Associated Press in regards to the fastest growing cities in the United States.

Ever since the issue of Protest Petitions for Greensboro has been going on there has been talk about how bringing back Protest Petitions will somehow hurt the growth of Greensboro in the development community.

On May 15, 2008 guest column on Protest Petitions for Greensboro here is what was said, "Those who oppose protest petitions in Greensboro say they would discourage in-fill development. They say the current exemption aids growth, and not having the exemption would hurt growth.Yet Raleigh and Charlotte have protest petitions, and both have grown faster than Greensboro since the exemption has been in effect."

Well it seems like the argument from the opposition to not bring back Protest Petitions ie "TREBIC", can be thrown right out the window because the U.S. Census Bureau has some new numbers to report , click here

Cities with the largest numerical increase from July 2006 to July 2007
#1 Houston- 38,932
#2 Phoenix- 34,941
#3 San Antonio- 32,680
#4 Fort Worth- 29,453
#5 New Orleans- 28,926
#6 New York- 23,960
#7 Atlanta- 20,623
#8 Austin- 17,648
#9 Charlotte- 17,471
#10 Raleigh- 15,148

The #9 and #10 in fastest growing cities happen to be in our great state of North Carolina and guess what they both have in common their citizens both have the right to use Protest Petitions in zoning cases .

This is your time to let the Greensboro City Council know that you want Protest Petitions back in the zoning process. All you need to do is say "Bring Back Protest Petitions to Greensboro", here is the link to the e-mail center for the Greensboro City Council.

Greensboro City Council E-Mail Center