Nov 18, 2009

Greensboro City Council Member Zack Matheny Has A Golfing Buddy,Campaign Donor and Rezoning Case with Protest Petition


Greensboro City Council member Zack Matheny had a lot to say about the controversial rezoning case for properties at the corner of elm street and cornwallis that was brought in front of the council on 11-17-2009. If you would like to see the video CLICKHERE then proceed to the 2:42 mark of video and the part where Zack Matheny spoke like the energizer bunny is around the 3:59 mark on video.

John Stratton was presenting a rezoning case in front of the Greensboro City Council.Campaign donations for this past election shows that John Stratton gave Zack Matheny on 8-24-2009 $100.00 with a election sum to date total of $350.00 , it was also interesting to see John Stratton on the 35 day report for Zack Matheny campaign forms as self employed and business owner maybe you could add developer to your resume when it is in regards to job title or profession or just let treasurer Robert Kidwell know this information for the future .Maybe just maybe in the future we can get rid of these campaign donors who know full well they have business in front of council and will not be able to give for a period of time before or after a election.

When the councilman Zack Matheny was speaking about the area of Greensboro where he lives, he mentioned the area off of elm street called Fountain Manor and said " if voted on today fountain manor wouldn't be passed by any council." Nice try to say that statement about fountain manor , that was about as ridiculous as Betty Smith from the Greater Greensboro Realtors Association say that if Protest Petition had been in play then Lake Jeanette would not have been built, too much hearsay for me.

Let's also take what Zack Matheny had to say in regards to this rezoning case off of elm and cornwallis. "I have never seen a developer work harder. If you ask Mr. Stratton he would probably tell you he and i don't agree on everything. I am a much better golfer than he is for one thing". It looks like Zack Matheny has a golfing buddy in zoning presenter John Stratton. What is your relationship with Mr. Stratton? Was he one of your anonymous investors off of Highway 68 which you will not disclose ?Here is a link to that post, CLICKHERE . How much agreeing and disagreeing goes on between Zack Matheny and John Stratton?

Now let's end with what Greensboro City Council member Zack Matheny had to say at the end of this rezoning case off of elm and cornwallis.

"It surprised me the comment was made setting the stage what this would do for the future of Greensboro. We can let everybody come in like developers and they will control the whole city. I don't think that is correct, neighborhoods have a voice , if you haven't seen it tonight you will in future especially when it pertains to the protest petition."

As you can see from the above statement neighborhoods all over Greensboro are going to finally have their say in regards to zoning cases.This state law should have never been taken away from the citizens of Greensboro. It looks like having Protest Petition back as state law in Greensboro will level the playing field because for way too long we have known how this outcome has been in regards to developers in town because Zack Matheny just said so. Thanks for letting us all know what the future brings for neighborhoods all over Greensboro and hopefully there will be more cases where Protest Petition is used .












First Protest Petition in Front of Greensboro City Council What Happened?


At the Greensboro City Council meeting on 11-17-2009 items #11 and #12 came in front of council here is the items below


11. Ordinance amending Chapter 30, Section 30-1-10, Relation to the Comprehensive Plan, to consider an amendment to the Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan Generalized Future Land Use Map (Figure 4-2) from the Low Residential and Mixed Use Commercial land use classifications to the Moderate Residential land use classification for property located in the northwest quadrant of the intersection of W. Cornwallis Road and N. Elm Street. (Attachment #11 (CP-09-02) to Councilmembers) (roll call vote) (THIS ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE NOVEMBER 10TH MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING)

12. Ordinance rezoning classification from RS-12 (Residential-Single Family) to CD-RM-12 (Conditional District-Residential Multi-Family property located at 2207-2209 North Elm Street and 106-108 West Cornwallis Drive, generally described as north of West Cornwallis Drive and west of North Elm Street. (Attachment #12 (PL(Z)09-14) to Councilmembers) (roll call vote) (THIS ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE NOVEMBER 10TH MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING) (A VALID PROTEST PETITION WAS RECEIVED BY THE CLERK AND DELIVERED TO PLANNING ON 11.11.09 AT 11:48 A.M.)


As you can see from above there was a valid protest petition received by the city clerk. This is the first time since the bill was passed earlier this year for this to happen. Here is the article by Amanda Lehmert on this rezonong case with a title " Council fails to pass controversial rezoning" CLICKHERE


In the article this is what was said"The motion to approve the rezoning failed 4 to 3, with Mayor Yvonne Johnson, Councilwoman Wells, and Councilwoman T. Dianne Bellamy-Small voting no.
Councilman Robbie Perkins abstained and Councilwoman Mary Rakestraw was absent. Councilman Matheny later changed his vote to no – meaning he will be able to ask that the council reconsider the decision at a future council meeting.


The protest petition is now a part of the landscape of future zoning cases in Greensboro.This state law should have never been taken away from the citizens of Greensboro in the first place, hopefully in future will see more zoning cases with a valid protest petition attached to the case. But in the future there might be a case with a valid protest petition and still pass muster with the council and pass but at least they had the right to use a protest petition in the zoning process.

Sep 7, 2009

At Large Greensboro City Council Candidate Nancy Vaughan on Protest Petition

The Greensboro News & Record has a section of their online site titled "Meet the candidates". In the online edition they interviewed At Large Greensboro City Council candidate Nancy Vaughan CLICKHERE.


In the article here is what Nancy Vaughan had to say:


"She got drawn into politics again recently, when she began to follow the fight to get protest petition back to Greensboro. Advocates pushed City Council members for more than a year before they took up the debate.
“I was frustrated that council sat on it,” she said, during a recent interview over a cup of hot tea at the Green Bean."



To say the current batch of Greensboro City Council members sat on this issue was an understatement. To also see that the current Greensboro City Council want to compromise on State Law with the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition , known around these parts in parody as the TREBIC CARTEL was also sad to see.It was also hard to understand why Betty Smith from the Greater Greensboro Realtors Assosciation would fight to deny Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro.


To all the citizens of Greensboro who plan on voting in the upcoming municipal election, remember how the current Greensboro City Council handled this issue. Goldie Wells was the only council member who fought tooth and nail to bring this back to the citizens of Greensboro and she is not running for reelection this year. It was Goldie Wells who was the only Greensboro City Council member who came and heard David Owens from the UNC School of Government speak in regards to Protest Petitions in the state of North Carolina before the council voted for the legislative agenda on January 21, 2009.


Every single current council member from Mayor Johnson to Robbie Perkins to Zack Matheny to Trudy Wade to Mary Rakestraw to T Dianne Bellamy Small to Sandra Anderson Groat will say that they voted yes on bringing back Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro. But ask this question, what did you do before the vote to help the citizens of Greensboro have the same rights as every other citizen who lives in a municipality have? Not much at all.


It will be interesting to see if any candidate will also step forward to talk about how this current Greensboro City Council for the longest time denied this right to the citizens of Greensboro and to see them cow tow for a compromise with TREBIC on state law was laughable. But as you saw our State Legislators with 100% support from Pricey Harrison from the beginning introduce a bill as soon as the long session started and to also witness how fast it became law was great to see.

Protest Petitions is now state law for every single municipality in this state. If this issue resonated with any voters in Greensboro then i hope you can see what your current council did not do for the longest time on this issue and vote accordingly. Get someone in office who will fight for the citizens.

Jul 9, 2009

Rhino Times Has An Epiphany on Protest Petitions in Greensboro




The Rhino Times has a new article out this week by John Hammer called "City Staff Wants To Control Your Home", click on the link above. John Hammer writes this,"The City of Greensboro now has a program called the neighborhood conservation overlay (NCO) district, designed to force an eclectic, older neighborhood – like what they are calling "Greater Kirkwood" – into the mold of a new, cookie-cutter housing development with a homeowners' association".


Let's do a little history lesson on Rhino Times and Protest Petition for Greensboro, here is a post back on May 3, 2008 when the state legislator of this state were getting ready to go back into short session here is that post CLICKHERE and here is a quote from the first paragraph,"The reason I post this e mail is because I have e mailed the Rhino Times 3 times with no correspondence , while I also went to their web site and did a letter to the editor about Protest Petitions to no avail. Maybe this might help with a correspondence."


Then finally on July 17, 2008 after the short session of the state legislature was over and plenty of anonymous letters to the editors in between this time at the Rhino they finally printed the letter to the editor about restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro. It was amazing to have to fight so hard to get a letter to the editor printed in the Rhino but when your whole middle section of the Rhino is real estate industry or TREBIC CARTEL as they have been nicknamed as a parody to their fight to deny the citizens of Greensboro the right to Protest Petitions.Then we see in this new article that John Hammer had a epiphany for the use of Protest Petitions in Greensboro because in the past John Hammer never wanted to talk about this issue that was resonating all over the City of Greensboro.


The Rhino Times article talks about the Kirkwood area of Greensboro which is off of lawndale and cornwallis drive near battleground avenue.John Hammer talks in length about the neighborhood conservation overlay but at the end of the article he had this to say.


"One final note, the push for an NCO in Greater Kirkwood seems to be a result of a failed plan to build a Walgreens at the intersection of Cornwallis and Lawndale drives. Since that attempt was made, the city has passed a protest petition amendment that gives neighborhoods much more power in controlling development.


The protest petition was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, and went into effect in Greensboro, this year. It gives nearby property owners a tremendous amount of power to have a voice in rezoning requests. If a protest petition is signed by 20 percent of the property owners affected by a rezoning, or 5 percent of the property owners within 100 feet of the boundaries of the property in question, the rezoning comes to the City Council. Then the rezoning has to pass by a 7-to-2 majority. Passing a contested rezoning by a 7-to-2 majority on the City Council is extremely rare, which means the developer is going to make every attempt to get the support of the neighborhood before moving forward.


The way to keep unwanted development from Lawndale and Cornwallis is with protest petitions, not by putting another layer of regulations on the neighborhood."


It is nice to see John Hammer come around on this issue because it was very hard at the beginning to convince the good professor in David Wharton from a blog called A Little Urbanity CLICKHERE on this issue but he was a great advocate at the end and now John Hammer can see the light as well in Protest Petitions for Greensboro



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Jun 15, 2009

Protest Petition for Greensboro Will Now Be Official on the City of Greensboro Code of Ordinances

The City of Greensboro at the June 16, 2009 meeting will officially have Protest Petitions as part of the Code of Ordinances. This is great news for the citizens of Greensboro to see this happen and we will see if any of the council members want to speak out in regards to this ordinance.Here is a link to the agenda . If you want to see the agenda CLICKHERE , then click on June 16, 2009. You can also see the council meeting tonight as well at this location.

Jun 3, 2009

Add Another Developer Who Withdrew The Zoning Case With A Protest Petition Filed in Greensboro

Development plan abandoned: Typar Development has withdrawn its request to rezone property at South Elam Avenue and Spring Garden Road. The request and plans to construct a mixed-use building met with opposition — and a protest petition — from area residents. This was reported by Amanda Lehmert of the Greensboro News and Record CLICKHERE

below is the two cases that were withdrawn from the Greensboro City Council meeting on June 2, 2009

8. Resolution authorizing amendment to future land use map of the Lindley Park Neighborhood Plan. (THIS ITEM CONTINUED FROM THE MAY 5, 2009
MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING


9. Ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-26 (Conditional District-Residential-Multifamily)
and RM-18 (Residential-Multifamily) to CD-PDI (Conditional District-Planning Unit
Development Infill) for property located at the northwest corner of Spring Garden
Street and South Elam Avenue. (THIS ITEM CONTINUED FROM THE MAY 5,
2009 MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING – VALID
PROTEST PETITION HAS BEEN FILED WHICH WILL REQUIRE A
THREE-QUARTER, MAJORITY VOTE OF THOSE MEMBERS PRESENT
AND VOTING) (roll call vote) (Attachment # 9 (PL(Z) 09-08) to Council members)


The first filed Protest Petition for Greensboro was done on April 21, 2009 with this post on the issue, CLICKHERE and now we have another difficult case for the folks in the Lindley Park Neighborhood who filed a Protest Petition in this new case that got withdrawn. It is nice to see the citizens of Greensboro use this state law which was denied to them for a very long time.

It would be nice to see a case where a protest petition was valid and not withdrawn but the last 2 zoning cases with a valid Protest Petition have both been withdrawn.

May 9, 2009

Preserving the Written Minutes of The Meeting Where Protest Petition's Were Put on Legislative Agenda on 1-23-09

BELOW THE FOLD IS THE OFFICIAL MINUTES FROM THE January 23, 2009
Greensboro City Council meeting where Protest Petitions for the citizens of Greensboro was put on Legislative agenda for the State Legislators. It was a impressive show of force to see the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of the Triad, League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, and Greensboro Neighborhood Congress come together to make this happen for the citizens of Greensboro. It was also a real rude awakening to see the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (TREBIC), Greater Greensboro Realtors Association,Greensboro Homebuilders Association, Triad Apartment Association, National Association of Industrial & Office Properties try to deny the citizens of Greensboro the right to use Protest Petition in the zoning process. This post is here to record the history of Protest Petitions for Greensboro and what happened on January 23, 2009.

________________________________________________________
Mayor Johnson indicated that Numbers 11-20 would be skipped to address Number (21) of Item #28, theProtest Petition segment of the 2009 Legislative Agenda. Mayor Johnson introduced and read into the record that
the City will seek legislation to repeal a local act passed in 1971 exempting the City from state law concerning petitions of protest on zoning matters.



Repeal of the law will subject the City to the provisions of 160A-385, which
will require rezonings to pass by a three-quarter vote of Council, rather than a majority vote, when a proper protest petition is submitted. Mayor Johnson indicated that speakers would have twenty minutes for and against the
category and conversely, five minutes of rebuttal.


Mayor Johnson asked if anyone wished to speak in support of Number (21) of Item #28, the 2009Legislative Agenda:


Jack Masarie, 3 Garden Lake Circle, spoke in favor of the protest petition; the importance of providing
clear procedural and representation items for property owners in close proximity to development; and the
importance of representation, communication and procedure.


Art Davis, 910 Ross Avenue, representing the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress, indicated that theprotest petition process was essential to effective communication for residents involved in controversial rezonings;
encouraged reinstatement of the protest petition to ensure neighborhood development; and supported utilizing theprotest petition as a participation tool for residents.


Kathleen Sullivan, 5302 Lange Trail, representing the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress, requested Council reinstate the protest petition tool which would act to check-and-balance development; and cited the example
of the Twin Oaks Golf Course infill development project.

Sharon Hightower, 6 Bells Court, spoke in support of the protest petition process because it emphasizedinclusion within the development process, allowed community input into the development process, and that stated
that Greensboro’s regulations should reflect protest petition regulations of other municipalities.


David Wharton, 667 Percy Street, spoke in support of the protest petition with a PowerPoint presentation,concern regarding the proportion of representation of real estate members on city boards; legal representation of
real estate industry; funding of industry professionals by regional and national firms; lobbyists intervention into landuse public policy; and to correct the imbalance between political and regulatory interests. (A copy of the
PowerPoint presentation is filed as #R-2 which is hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of these
minutes.)


Willie Taylor, 808 Sea Carriage Crossing Lane, representing the League of Women Voters, spoke torestore the protest petition in the spirit of collaboration and trust between developers and residents.


Colin Kelly, 3614 Gainsboro Drive, spoke in favor of the protest petition process and the need for itsreinstatement.


Susan Taaffe, 2511 Wright Avenue, spoke in favor of the protest petition and requested audience membersto stand in support thereof.


Donna D. Newton, 1 Gwyn Lane, representing the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress, spoke to the rightof the protest petition to the citizens, emphasized the rights of transparency and equity; and mentioned that the right
had been removed by the former Council in 1971 without any public discourse.


Mayor Johnson then asked if anyone desired to speak in opposition to Number (21) of the 2009 LegislativeAgenda:


Algenon Cash, 405 Battleground Avenue, spoke in opposition of the protest petition; stated that duringeconomic downturns, the protest petition would be counter-productive relevant to inefficient regulation; that the
current rezoning process was not broken and did not require fixing; that passing a protest petition regulation would weaken private property rights by allowing as few as one person to impact majority rule; and that strengthening
regulations would deter economic growth.


Jeff Yetter, 905 Cornwallis Drive, spoke in opposition to the protest petition stating that infill developmentwould be the focus of protest petitions; North Carolina was on a national target list for development; requested
Council to not deter smart growth and infill development; and expressed his concerns regarding the impact of theprotest petition regulation on job creation.


Steve Batts, 4804 Thacker Dairy Road, representing the Greensboro Homebuilders Association, spoke inopposition to the protest petition.


Betty A. Smith, 3907 North Elm Street, representing the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association, spokein opposition to the protest petition; stated that the current rezoning process was effective; cited the rezoning case of the Lake Jeanette area; expressed her concerns for private property rights; and stated that realtor attendance was low due to the council meeting conflicting with the North Carolina Association of Realtors’ quarterly meeting.


Ron Guerra, 115 South Westgate Drive, representing TREBIC, spoke in opposition to the protest petition; stated the real estate industry was already heavily regulated; indicated that neighbors meetings with developers was
an essential part of the TREBIC credo; and stated that the threshold percentages are too high.


Marlene Sanford, 115 South Westgate Drive, representing TREBIC, the Triad Apartment Association, the Greensboro Landlord’s Association, spoke to the fairness of the protest petition whereby rezoning opponents have
an unfair advantage over the applicant in lieu of the applicant being considered guilty until proven innocent; protest petition represents a tyranny of the minority; public policy should not be conducted based on the fact that everyone
else is doing it; and spoke her opposition to the statistics presented regarding the Boards and Commissions’ members backgrounds.


Mayor Johnson called for speakers in rebuttal, supporting Number (21) of the Legislative Agenda:


David Wharton, 667 Percy Street, spoke to the role of communication and cooperation between government, residents and developers; stated that the current economy is affecting homeowners’ equity; denied that one person could prevent a rezoning; opposed evidence that the protest petition would create sprawl by stating Greensboro currently has sprawl; and supported the statistics presented in his PowerPoint presentation.


Mary Burritt, 2016 Fleming Road, spoke in support of the protest petition and emphasized constituent support and expressed her apprehensions concerning the rezoning process.


Mayor Johnson responded that Council was attempting to find a compromise between the real estate industry and property owners.


Mayor Johnson then called for speakers in rebuttal, opposing Number (21) of the Legislative Agenda:


Ron Guerra, 115 South Westgate Drive, spoke to the negative perception of negotiations relevant to development projects; and the lack of statistics indicating the number of rejected projects based on protest petitions;
and stated his opposition to the five percent threshold.


Betty A Smith, 3907 North Elm Street, reiterated her opposition to reinstating the protest petition.


Marlene Sanford, 115 South Westgate Drive, spoke to sprawl, density and geography; and expressed willingness to work with the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the League of Women Voters to discuss
different standards for the protest petition in the case that Council voted for its reinstatement.


Councilmember Matheny moved to close the public hearing; Councilmember Wade seconded the motion which was adopted by voice vote of Council.


Council discussion mentioned the need for affordable housing in Greensboro for first-time homebuyers; expressed the concern of the protest petition’s impact on community relations; encouraged favorable methods of urban planning with residents, staff and developers; the necessity of a communication tool between residents and government; questioned the appropriateness of the five-percent threshold; expressed concerns about infill development, redevelopment and residential deterioration along major corridors; and the need to compromise
between real estate and residential interests.


Attorney Wood detailed the protest petition process consisting of the developer meeting with protesters to discuss conditions; subsequently, the project could proceed or not; finally the project would be presented to Council for voting.


Donna D. Newton stated that the Neighborhood Congress would be willing to discuss amending the protest petition with the real estate community after the protest petition right had been reinstated in Raleigh. Council discussion emphasized the lack of public records of discourse regarding the exemption that was adopted by the City Council in 1971.


Councilmember Wells indicated that the protest petition was a state law that Greensboro citizens should be allowed the basic right along with rest of the populous; and that the threshold percentages could be amended by the
Legislature.


Mayor Johnson commented that if Number (21) passes, ask that the State Legislature revisit the whole area of protest petition, and the percentages, and the standards, because the rezoning criteria and process has changed;
you could add that if you pass this as a request of the Legislature.

Councilmember Bellamy-Small moved that we send this forward with the Mayor’s comment added to it, leaving it for us to tweak the percentages and the number of votes whatever, but giving us some flexibility; so you reinstate it but give us still the opportunity to work with folks who put it to make it fit for Greensboro. Attorney Wood proceeded to summarize Council’s intentions. Councilmember Barber interjected with an option to ask the Legislature to allow Greensboro to establish a local ordinance. Councilmember Wells made a motion to send it, Number (21), so that it be repealed so that the citizens
would have their right. Councilmember Barber’s friendly amendment that supplemental language subsequent to the protest petition being reinstated that we take your (TREBIC, Neighborhood Congress, League of Women Voters)
collective proposal on percentages and detail to the Legislature, as well. Attorney Wood clarified that if Council voted tonight to include this in the Legislative Agenda Packet, it would go to Raleigh then we could send a related
bill within the timeframe for local bills to the Legislative Study Commission to be considered. Councilmember Barber summarized that the expectation is that you mail it by February 3rd, and that the protest petition goes and the
recommendation goes at the same time. Mayor Johnson added that a local bill to be structured and be consistent to their agreement. Councilmember Wells accepted the friendly amendment and moved Number (21) remain on the
Legislative Agenda. Councilmember Bellamy-Small seconded the motion which was approved on the following roll-call vote: Ayes: Barber, Bellamy-Small, Groat, Johnson, Matheny, Perkins, Rakestraw, Wells and Wade.
Noes: None.

Nancy Vaughan Was None Too Happy With The Waffling of Greensboro City Council on Protest PEtition


My good friend Erik Huey over at his own blog called Greensboro Metro CLICKHERE had a post titled "City Council Candidate Nancy Vaughan: Someone To Watch"


The idea bringing back Protest Petition to the citizens of Greensboro started well back in February of 2008 and to see the inaction of the whole Greensboro City Council in regards to this issue was pathetic to experience.


Now we see that Nancy Barakat Vaughan was none too pleased with the Greensboro City Council as well. Here is what she said over at the Greensboro Metro blog,


"In an interview with GSOMetro, Vaughan said for these reasons and more (along with the blessing of her family), she had to begin prepping to get back in. She said the waffling on "protest petitions" were the catalyst of her itching to run again."


To hear a candidate say that the Greensboro City Council was waffling on bringing back Protest Petitions for the citizens was a great to hear.


Everybody and their mother knew that if this issue dragged on in to the fall without a bill getting passed at the state level that it would have been a real wedge issue for the incumbents to say to their citizens why they are denying them the rights that every other citizen who lives in a municipality has.


There is more to the post on some of the issues Nancy Barakat Vaughan talked with Erik Huey about CLICKHERE and it was great to see a candidate talk about the issue of Protest PEtitions for the citizens of Greensboro.

May 5, 2009

First Protest Petition for Greensboro in 37 Years Has Been Continued

The first Protest Petition in the City of Greensboro in over 37 years has been continued till the next Greensboro City Council meeting for June 2, 2009. Items #11 and #12

11. Resolution authorizing amendment to future land use map of the Lindley Park
Neighborhood Plan. (roll call vote) (Attachment #11 (CP-09-01) to Council
members)

12. Ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-26 (Conditional District-Residential-
Multifamily) and RM-18 (Residential-Multifamily) to CD-PDI (Conditional
District-Planning Unit Development Infill) for property located at the northwest
corner of Spring Garden Street and South Elam Avenue. (roll call vote)
(Attachment #12 (PL(Z)09-08) to Council members)


Since the Protest Petition has been brought back to Greensboro we have seen a withdrawal of a case with Protest Petition and now we have seen a continuance of a zoning case with Protest Petition. It is amazing to comprehend that this denial of State law to the citizens of Greensboro for such a long period of time could have been used in plenty of other cases over the years.

There are informal and formal aspects of having Protest Petition as State Law and with the Lindley Park Neighborhood you have seen the informal part of Protest Petition with this continuance. Time will tell if they will still need to use the formal aspect of this law and have the Greensboro City Council vote on the matter.

Apr 30, 2009

Greensboro City Council Agenda for May 5th Add Protest Petition To The Agenda Round #2

The Greensboro City Council has plenty on the agenda for May 5th and Amanda Lehmert from the Greensboro News & Record reports tonight that the Lindley Park Neighborhood has filed a Protest Petition on a zoning case at the corner of Spring Garden Street and Elam Avenue, CLICKHERE . To see this zoning case click on the title above or CLICKHERE then proceed to May 5, 2009. Below is what is on the agenda with Items #11 and #12.

11. Resolution authorizing amendment to future land use map of the Lindley Park
Neighborhood Plan. (roll call vote) (Attachment #11 (CP-09-01) to Council
members)

12. Ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-26 (Conditional District-Residential-
Multifamily) and RM-18 (Residential-Multifamily) to CD-PDI (Conditional
District-Planning Unit Development Infill) for property located at the northwest
corner of Spring Garden Street and South Elam Avenue. (roll call vote)
(Attachment #12 (PL(Z)09-08) to Council members)


This will be the second time that Protest Petitions has been used since it was brought back to the City of Greensboro in over 37 years. The first case was withdrawn by the developer, CLICKHERE for that post. At the end of the post it was noted that Lindley Park Neighborhood Association was none too happy with the zoning case off of Spring Garden Street.


Apr 21, 2009

Protest Petition Was Used and Developer Has Withdrew The Case

At the Greensboro City Council meeting on April 21, 2009 the first Protest Petition case was in front of the council for the first time in over 37 years.Here is the case;

10. Ordinance rezoning from RS-12 (Residential Single-Family to CD-RM-12
(Conditional District-Residential Multifamily) for uses limited to 56 multifamily units
for property located on 911, 913 and 917 Pilgrims Church Road and 911 Near
Pilgrims Church Road. (roll call vote) (Attachment #10 (PL(Z) 09-06) to Council
members)


Hold your horses because the developer has withdrawn the case.

To give you a little history of this case it was denied from the zoning commission on a 9-0 vote with also a denial from the planning department. Adding these two denials and also the presentation was weak it was a surprise to see them actually bring this up in front of the Greensboro City Council. Then the surrounding property owners filed their Protest Petitions last week. This case really didn't need to use a Protest Petition because it should have never gotten in front of council at all. But to see it used for the first time was great to see.

The one zoning case that will probably take on a higher caliber will be the case off of Spring Garden Strteet and Elam Avenue . The Lindley Park Neighborhood Association is none too happy with this development and probably will use the Protest Petition against this case that will be in front of council in future. Will keep you informed on anymore cases that use Protest Petitions in the process.

You can also read the story at the Greensboro News & Record CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

Apr 16, 2009

City's First Protest Petition Filed Since 1971 Ban by Amanda Lehmert N&R

Amanda Lehmert from the Greensboro News & Record is reporting today that the first Protest Petition and definitely won't be the last has been filed with the Greensboro Planning Department. Planning Director Dick Hails hinted about this at the zoning commission meeting this past monday. If you want to see the article CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

While seeing the zoning cases online from monday , you might just see a protest petition used on this case as well.We will see if the Lindley Park Neighborhood wants to file a Protest Petition. Below is the case;

Z-09-04-003 Northwest corner of Spring Garden Street and South Elam Avenue - An
ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-26 (Conditional District-Residential-Multi Family)
and RM-18 (Residential-Multi Family) to CD-PDI (Conditional District-Planned Unit
Development-Infill) with the following conditions:
1) The maximum height of buildings shall be 3 above ground stories
2) The maximum number of multi-family units shall be 44
3) The maximum amount of non-residential space shall not exceed 10,800
square feet
- for a portion of the property located at the northwest corner of
Spring Garden Street and south Elam Avenue (1.82 Acres)
- for Derek Allen (Sheet 22)

If you want to see the video of the zoning commission CLICKHERE

Apr 7, 2009

Sedalia Knows, High Point Knows and Greensboro Who Wants To Be The First

There was two post today in the Greensboro News & Record in regards to zoning cases in Sedalia and High Point North Carolina and both had a common cause, PROTEST PETITION.

POST #1
Rezoning for Sedalia Thrift Store still unresolved CLICKHERE

Here is a segment on the article

"After an hourlong public hearing on rezoning a portion of a 5.79 acre-tract to accommodate a thrift shop and the presentation of a petition signed by surrounding property owners, the Sedalia Town Council voted 3-2 in favor of the rezoning.
However, because a petition has been presented to stop the rezoning, pending its validation, the rezoning request would have to pass with a vote of 4-1. If it is found that the petition is not valid, the zoning request can pass with a simple majority."


POST # 2
High Point says no to expanding apartment complex CLICKHERE

Here is a segment of article

Residents from nearby subdivisions, made up mostly of single-family homes, twin homes and town homes, said a three-story apartment building would not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood and would decrease the value of their properties, long-term investments they defended with protest petitions, pictures of the neighborhood and testimony from residents and one property manager.

Protest Petitions were front and center on these 2 cases and it is great to see neighborhoods all over the triad area use this state law . Now it will be interesting to see how the Greensboro City Council will take to this state law. It might be tough being the first one to use it, if the council wants to make a statement with their reluctance for this law to begin with, we will see what happens in the future.

Mar 30, 2009

Protest Petition Party Thursday 7:15 at Natty Greene's Second Floor



The Coalition of Concerned Citizens of the Triad want to invite anyone who had any part in bringing back Protest Petitions to the Citizens of Greensboro to a informal gathering. Above you will see that we are going to get together at Natty Greene's in downtown Greensboro at 7:15 pm on second floor.
It will be great to see everyone who was a part of this process and also to send out a invitation to all in the local blogging community because I think having this blog on Protest Petitions for Greensboro really made a great difference in the process. Come to Natty Greene's and enjoy the night.

Mar 23, 2009

Good News Protest Petition is Now Online for the Citizens of Greensboro

Press Release from the City of Greensboro on Protest Petition for Greensboro below. Also if you want to see the form click on the title above or CLICKHERE

CITY OF GREENSBORO
Contact: Rawls Howard
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: 373-2748



Right to Protest Petition Granted Back to Greensboro Citizens

GREENSBORO, NC -- (March 23, 2009) – The right to protest petition has been granted back to citizens of Greensboro. The North Carolina General Assembly ratified a bill on March 5 that removed Greensboro's exemption from the protest petition requirements found in North Carolina General Statute 160A-385.
Previously, the City of Greensboro had special legislation in place that exempted it from the State’s protest petition requirements. With the removal of this exemption, Greensboro City Council must now follow special voting procedures when addressing rezoning matters where a valid protest petition has been submitted. Specifically, if a valid petition has been submitted in accordance with the standards set forth under State law, any action taken by Council on a rezoning item can only pass by a super-majority vote. In the case of a full, nine-member voting Council, seven votes would be required to take action or pass an item.
State law sets out procedures that must be followed and standards that must be met in order for a protest petition to be considered valid. For more information about the requirements and procedures for submitting protest petitions, call the City's Planning Department at 373-2144. Also, learn more about the protest petition online at http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/Planning/zoning/ProtestPetitions.htm.

Mar 20, 2009

Get Ready To Protest from the Inside Scoop of Greensboro News and Record

Amanda Lehmert from the Greensboro News and Record write today in the blog called Inside Scoop this caption "Get Ready to Protest" CLICKHERE of click on the title above.

Here is a quote from the post,"The protest forms will be available on the city Web site starting next week. Protests must be submitted to the city clerk by 5 p.m. on the Thursday before the city council meeting. "

It will be great to see the transparency on providing this information to the citizens of Greensboro on this issue.

Mar 18, 2009

Greensboro Planning Might Want To Make it More Difficult on the Protest Petition Process

There was a very interesting post on the UNC School of Government list serve from the Greensboro Planning Manager Rawls Howard.

More comments below the fold.

If you want to see the post click on the title above.

Here is what Rawls Howard had to say;

Does anyone require that the signatures for your protest petitions be notarized to be counted as official?

The State statutes are silent to this, but I wanted to check if this is something that is allowed or is done through local ordinances in your municipality or county.

Thanks.

In Public Service,

Rawls Howard, AICP, CZO
Planning Manager
City of Greensboro
300 West Washington St
PO Box 3136
Greensboro, NC 27402-3136
T) 336-373-2748
F) 336-412-6315
E) rawls.howard@greensboro-nc.gov

________________________________________________________

It seems that the Greensboro Planning Department is trying to make this process as difficult as possible. Just think ,Rawls Howard is trying to find out about having a notary be a part of the process, unbelievable. You do not need to have a notary to make a valid protest petition. If there is any municipality who does this I am not aware of it. Raleigh, High Point or Charlotte doesn't make you have a notary on the Protest Petition forms. All you need to do is provide a valid form where the citizens of Greensboro with name , address, and telephone . That is all you need .

If the City of Greensboro Planning Department wants to know what other cities are doing please click on this post CLICKHERE

Check Out The New Editorial Cartoon on Protest Petitions for Greensboro


It is time to update the Editorial Cartoon that was done by Anthony Piraino who also has his own blog called Plead The First CLICKHERE . Now it has been added to the blank Greensboro citizen that "SO DO WE" have the right to Protest Petitions for Greensboro.


Would like to thank Anthony Piraino for doing this editorial cartoon . It is amazing what one picture can do for an issue but having this picture for all to see really made the point.


Mar 15, 2009

Many Deserve Thanks for Protest Petition Fight Especially The Blogging Community


Greensboro News and Record Letter to the Editor for March 15, 2009
CLICKHERE
or click on the title above. Below is what was said in the letter to the editor.

Let me first say that the blogging community kept this issue on the forefront for over a year and would like to thank all who has posted , linked or opined on the issue it was a great help.
________________________________________________________


I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have been involved in restoring the right to protest petitions for the citizens of Greensboro and to praise our state legislators who moved this bill through the process smoothly.

To witness the special-interest group called TREBIC try to deny this state right for the citizens of Greensboro should be a wake-up call as to how far they will try to get their way.This exemption should have never happened in the first place. It came about because of back-door politics, with no citizen input. This exemption from state law made no sense.

It was time to reverse this exemption, and for anyone who wanted to call out my motives because I live in High Point and started a blog on this total injustice, think again. My motives were for the citizens of Greensboro to have the same rights I have as a resident of High Point, and the same rights as residents of every other city in this state.

Thanks to all who were involved and especially to all my friends in the local blogging community where “protest petitions for Greensboro” blogspot came to fruition and made a great difference.

Keith Brown
High Point

Mar 13, 2009

Greensboro Peer Pressure has a post Titled "Loop Holes in Protest Petition"

Local Blogger Diane Davis and her blog called "Greensboropeerpressure" CLICKHERE or click on the title above. Has a new post with a title called "Loop Holes in Protest Petition". She has some great questions like she did on the greenway. It will be great to see some of these neighborhoods all over Greensboro use Protest Petition in the zoning process and hopefully these loop holes can be rctified like for example it might be time to lobby the whole County of Guilford to add Protest Petitions to the county zoning process. Hey another issue our coalition can try to get passed. Nothing like a new challenge but first it might be time to get some politicians who aren't so close to the TREBIC CARTEL if you know what I mean come fall.

Mar 12, 2009

Northwest Observer on Protest Petitions in Oak Ridge & Summerfield & Stokesdale

Northwest Observer > News

The Northwest Observer which is a weekly newspaper concentrating in the northwest part of Guilford County has a article about the use of Protest Petitions in other cities like Oak Ridge, Summerfield and Stokesdale, click on the title above or CLICKHERE.

This article came about because there was so much talk about the restoration of Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro.

If you have friends or relatives or vacation homes in this state and your conversation talks about some rezoning case coming up in their established neighborhood , remember that you can use protest petitions in every city or municipality in this whole state even if there is not a formal process from the local council it is STATE LAW.

This blog will still be there for anyone who wants to understand the process of Protest Petition and to be there when some of these neighborhoods all over Greensboro exercise their right to Protest Petitions in the zoning process.

One mention is that I wouldn't want to be the first one who uses Protest Petitions in Greensboro because I am sure they are going to want to make a statement that even though this is on the books we can still pass the zoning case 9-0 , we will see.

Mar 11, 2009

Protest Petition Passing of Bill Informal Gathering at Natty Greene's


Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that we would like to have an informal gathering of friends and others who have been a part of passing a bill to restore Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro.

This effort has been going on for well over a year and now that the bill is passed, we thought it might be a great idea to have a informal gathering of people to celebrate and thank everyone who was involved.

We plan on meeting on the second floor of Natty Greene's which is located in downtown Greensboro at 345 S. Elm Street on April 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm.

Thanks to everyone who was involved and would like to see you there .

Keith T. Brown
Coalition of Concerned Citizens of The Triad

Mar 5, 2009

Dick Hails and Greensboro City Council Need to Understand The Process of Protest Petition

Now that Protest Petitions for Greensboro is law. It is now time for the Greensboro City Council and Dick Hails in the Greensboro Planning Department to understand this process and to be transparent and forth coming with the procedure they are going to implement. If you click on the title above it will take you to the process that the Town of Chapel Hill uses in the zoning process for Protest Petition.

Here are a few other municipalities and how they let their citizens know about Protest Petitions

Raleigh CLICKHERE

Charlotte CLICKHERE then CLICKHERE then go to bottom of page for Protest Petitions

High Point CLICKHERE in the Planning and Development under documents.

These are just a few of the available forms that the City of Greensboro needs to have online for all the citizens to have in the zoning process. It will be interesting to see how much transparency the City of Greensboro is going to have on providing information to their citizens . The Planning Department and Dick Hails need to provide the information on Protest Petitions on their web site at the location called forms, fees & brochures CLICKHERE with a title online called Protest Petitions . Let's see how long it take the city to post the required forms online for the citizens.

Plenty of Blog Post on Protest Petitions for Greensboro Here are The Links

IT is great to see all the blog post on Protest Petitions for Greensboro and this week seeing a bill get passed at the North Carolina General Assembly. Here is a compilation of blog post from this past week. If we missed anyone please let me know but will try to post everyone who posted this past week here they are in no particular order but would like to start with Brenda Bowers who was very sincere with her post and last but not least is FEC he will bring up the rear.



As I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
TITLE: Protest Petition YES! Well Done Keith Brown CLICKHERE



Tony Wilkins Busy Being Born
TITLE: Perkins Opinion on Johnson Removal & Protest Petition Return CLICKHERE


Erik Huey at Greensboro Metro
TITLE: Protest Petition Back.......Fully CLICKHERE


Ed Cone at Ed Cone
TITLE: Protest Petitions for Greensboro CLICKHERE


Joe Guarino at Guarino
TITLE: The Mitchell Johnson Firing, the Sanders Trial and Protest Petitions: All of a Sudden, We're Winning CLICKHERE

Mark Binker Capital Beat and Greensboro News and Record
TITLE: Protest Petition Passes quietly CLICKHERE

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST is

FEC at Vie de Malchance
TITLE: Binker Ignores Brown CLICKHERE

Thanks to everyone in the blogging community it was a long year and hopefully this will give people the understanding that blogs can and do make a difference in this area.

Mar 4, 2009

Citizens of Greensboro Protest Petitions Is Now Ready To Become Law

It is with great pleasure that we report today that House Bill #64 to restore Protest Petition to Greensboro will become law once it reaches the Secretary of State.

Mark Binker from the Greensboro News and Record and Capital Beat reports today about this bill, CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

There are a lot of people to thank for making this happen but to see the citizen activism in regards to this exemption of Greensboro from Protest Petitions and to take it to the level of changing this law was great to see.

Now let's see where the Greensboro City Council and Greensboro Planning Department especially Dick Hails has plans for Protest Petitions in the zoning process. Will it be online for all the citizens to see or will it be hidden from the citizens of Greensboro. It will be interesting to see in the future how this will play out.

PROTEST PETITIONS FOR GREENSBORO IS NOW LAW.

Mar 3, 2009

Protest Petition Bill Passes 116-0 in N.C. House , March on to Senate Side

Mark Binker from the Greensboro News and Record and Capital Beat CLICKHERE or click on the title above reports today that House Bill #64 has passed the House side with a vote of 116-0 . The bill will now move on to the Senate side of the North Carolina General Assembly.

If you would like to hear State Representative Pricey Harrison introduce the bill CLICKHERE .

Mar 2, 2009

Delayed A Day, Delayed A Day on House Bill #64

Mark Binker from the Greensboro News and Record and Capital Beat writes tonight that there was a delay in House Bill #64 CLICHERE or click on the title above.

It was the first time for me to hear the audio on the house legislature and hopefully in future we will see the chamber televised for all the citizens of North Carolina can see their tax money at work for them.

The delay happened because House Rep. Earl Jones couldn't make it to Raleigh and wanted to be there to sign on to this bill according to Mark Binker at the Capital Beat blog.

The next step is in the Senate side of chamber and hopefully it will get a fast pass on becoming a bill.

Feb 26, 2009

March on to the Floor of the House with Protest Petition on Monday

Mark Binker from the Greensboro News and Record and Capital Beat CLICKHERE , reports from Raleigh on Protest Petition Bill for Greensboro and here are a few quotes from the article

"The House Judiciary I committee approved a bill this morning that would restore protest petition rights to Greensboro residents."

“This is a very popular issue back home,” Rep. Maggie Jeffus, a Greensboro Democrat, to the committee. “The citizens of Greensboro want this right restored.”

It now moves on to the full House floor on Monday then on to the Senate side of North Carolina General Assembly. It is great news to hear and hopefully by the end of next week there will be even better news will keep you informed.

Feb 25, 2009

Greensboro Politics has a ? That State Senator Don Vaughan Answered

Ryan Shell at Greensboro Politics CLICKHERE or click on title above asked a question to State Senator Don Vaughan about Protest Petition's for Greensboro and how the City of Greensboro handled the whole situation. To hear State Senator Don Vaughan's was very clear and made a great point, go check it out at www.greensboropolitics.com

Feb 22, 2009

UPDATE ON HOW THE BILL IS PROGRESSING

The weekly e-mail newsletter from State Representative Pricey Harrison had this to say about the progress of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

Protest Petition
Our bill, House Bill 64*, to restore the right of protest petition is moving swiftly, after gaining the unanimous approval of the House Local Government II Committee on Tuesday. It has been re-referred to Judiciary I, on which I sit, where it should be heard on Thursday, February 26. It will then go to the full House floor before heading to the Senate. Thanks to all of you citizen activists in Greensboro who have worked so hard to make this possible.

Great news for the citizens of Greensboro.

Feb 18, 2009

Protest Petition: Company Politics in Greensboro


Jordan Green has a new report on Protest Petitions and the history of what happened. To see the whole article you can click on the title of this post or click on the title under the Yes!Weekly logo.
Below is a few of the paragraphs that caught my attention and would like to address a dig from former Greensboro attorney Jesse " Skip" Warren.
The mysterious disappearance of the protest petition from Greensboro’s legal code in 1971 transpired without political record.
Then-City Attorney Jesse “Skip” Warren drew up the city’s legislative agenda in 1970, and took responsibility for the action in a Jan. 21 memo to the current council.
“As former city attorney with the city of Greensboro for approximately forty one years, I have always felt that NCGS 160A-385 et seq (Protest Petition Law) is arbitrary, capricious, impulsive, whimsical and unfair and should either be repealed, or else leave the city of Greensboro out from under it,” he wrote. “I own no property here except for my residence and have no business relationship with any developer or real estate firm. In other words, I have no conflict of interest.”
More than three decades later, the political dynamic has shifted decisively. In the space of one year, a lone activist from High Point launched the cause of restoring the protest petition in Greensboro, and enlisted the support of the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, who in turn compelled the city council to request restoration of the provision. Guilford County’s legislative delegation has pledged swift passage of the legislation, ignoring vocal objections from the politically powerful real estate and development industry.
Warren concluded his memo with a curt swipe at protest petition activist Keith Brown. “It is also noted that the leader of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens of the Triad has his residence in High Point,” he wrote.
As you can see what from the former Greensboro city attorney Skip Warren he thinks that state law is arbitrary. Let's take a look at the definition of arbitrary
arbitrary defined "1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law
To me NCGS 160a385 and 386 is fixed by state law, wow thanks for screwing the citizens of Greensboro for over 37 years because you thought this statute was arbitrary but as we have seen and read it seems that there was a concerted effort to take this right away from the citizens and people like you who took this away from the citizens of Greensboro without any public knowledge and what the article states as informal meetings are called backdoor politics at it's best.
To hear Jesse Warren 41 year city attorney for Greensboro call out the motives of Keith Brown is laughable and has no place in the discussion but if he wants to add to the people who have called out my motives from me being from High Point go right ahead because you have some great company in Robbie "Pave It " Perkins to talk to about my motives, CLICKHERE to see what Robbie"Pave It " Perkins had to say about Keith Brown the non vested interest in High Point.Also found out that Greensboro City Council member Trudy Wade wanted to also know my motives as well.
Let me say that this whole time the motives for me was for the Citizens of Greensboro to have the same rights as any other citizen had in this state and it was a total injustice that Greensboro was exempted from this state law.
It is great to get the attention and to have people call out my motives on this issue but to hear people call me up and ask about their zoning case and to give them advice about their options, it will be great to let the people call me in High Point and ask how did you use Protest Petition in the zoning process against a TREBIC member and a major developer in the triad area.
It will be my community service to let people in Greensboro know about Protest Petition how it works and what you can do as a community to combat some of this unwanted development in your established neighborhood .It will also be a great day when we know that a bill has been signed in to law as well.
In conclusion it was a pleasure to be a part of this movement to bring Protest Petitions back to Greensboro and to know that you as a citizen have the same rights as me who lives in High Point your red headed step child municipality next door.

Bill Travels and Greensboro City Council Again Approves Protest Petition

There was plenty of action today and plenty of post on Protest Petition for Greensboro. Here are a few links to what has happened today. First of all the House Bill #64 has been brought out of local committee and now is on it's way to Judiciary 1 committee, that is great news and you can see the progress by clicking on the top left corner of blog.

Also last night the Greensboro City Council approved again the legislative agenda and 9-0 for Protest Petitions for Greensboro. Here is what happened last night courtesy of Amanda Lehmert at Greensboro News and Record CLICKHERE

Then Allen Johnson from the Greensboro News and Record had this to say CLICKHERE with a title "Protest Petition Polka".

Then Ed Cone also has a post CLICKHERE with a title "Late To The Party".

Then late in day Mark Binker has this post CLICKHERE with a title "Committee Passes Protest Petition Bill".

That is great news to hear that this bill is on the fast track to becoming law for the citizens of Greensboro.We will keep you posted on when it goes to the senate side as well. It is now headed to the Judiciary 1 committee where the sponsor of the bill is on this committee in State Representative Pricey Harrison, who has been a real champion on bringing this right back to the citizens of Greensboro.If you want to send her a e-mail and thank her for sponsoring this bill please let her know . She can be reached by clicking on her name on the left hand side of blog.

Feb 16, 2009

EGBAR + Jim Melvin = Please Give Pins To TREBIC

Jim Schlosser writes in today's Greensboro News and Record CLICKHERE about how Sidney Stern back in the 80's had a lapel pin that he gave out that said EGBAR which stands for "everything's gonna be all right".

Now Jim Melvin the $267,337 a year president of the Bryan Foundation has brought this back up and has started to give these pins out to people around Greensboro. It might be a good idea to take a stroll down to 115 South Westgate Drive and let Marlene Sanford from the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition other wise known as the TREBIC CARTEL have plenty of these EGBAR pins because a bill has been filed and the citizens of Greensboro are going to have Protest Petitions back in the zoning process 5% and all.

If TREBIC wants to still look silly let's see what they have to say to the Greensboro City Council on tuesday because the compromise broke down for plenty of reasons on being what part of STATE LAW do you and the council not understand. You can also add that a bill has been filed and the citizens of Greensboro will be under the same rights as every other citizen in this state who lives in a city. It will be fun to see what TREBIC has to say on tuesday but don't think about trying to blame the other side on this compromise because the compromise should have never been on the table to begin with .

Giving this right back to the citizens of Greensboro should have been a no brainer but as you can see the special interest group wanted to fight this and now how do you look as an organization. Pretty darn silly.

You can also read another local blogger who has plenty to say about TREBIC , CLICKHERE .

EGBAR TREBIC EGBAR TREBIC EGBAR TREBIC EGBAR TREBIC

Feb 14, 2009

Editorial in Greensboro News and Record , "A Vote of Confidence"

The Greensboro News and Record lead editorial today February 14, 2009 with the title "A Vote of Confidence" CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

Here are a few quotes from the editorial

As it stands now, Greensboro is the only city in the state that does not permit protest petitions. For reasons that are unclear, the city was granted an exemption in 1971

But those negotiations seemed pointless from the start. The existing statute is fine as written and does not need improving. More significantly, a local protest petition bill, without modifications, and without the council’s blessing, was almost certain to be passed anyway.

In particular, developers contend that the 5 percent threshold is too low and that the supermajority vote requirement is too high. They protest too much.

And they fail to present even one thread of evidence to support those notions.

The City Council ought to take the congress’ vote in good faith, endorse the bill as it stands and let the lawmakers do their thing.

Feb 13, 2009

Greensboro Neighborhood Congress Now On Board , No Compromise Needed State Law Is State Law

Below the fold is the letter from the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress on their commitment to reinstating Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro, with no compromise needed since a bill has already been filed . If you want to follow the bill click on the School House Rock Bill in top left corner of blog.

We have also heard from State Representative Pricey Harrison today and here is what she had to say "Now that our committee assignments have been made, I am going to push for an early hearing on the bill for which I am a primary sponsor on restoring the protest petition to the citizens of Greensboro,
House Bill 64*. It is great news to hear and see everyone come together to bring back Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

UPDATE 2-14-09
State Senator Don Vaughan had this to say in a online newsletter

"On the local level, I was very pleased to co-sponsor Senator Katie Dorsett’s Senate Bill number 67 titled Greensboro/Restore Zoning Protest Rights. Senator Dorsett had prepared this Bill during the previous legislative session, but due to outstanding issues it was not introduced until this session. The bill simply repeals state law 1971-29 excluding Greensboro from the Zoning Protest Rights provision and that “this act will become effective when it becomes law.” I look forward to a swift passage."

Hopefully TREBIC can see the writing on the wall and back off the opposition to this bill and accept what every other city in this state abides by in North Carolina General Statute 160a-385 and 386.State law is state law, 5% and all.

Below is the letter sent out from Greensboro Neighborhood Congress.


________________________________________________________


"The Greensboro Neighborhood Congress ultimately voted and unanimously decided upon the following with regard to the Protest Petition:

That Greensboro have the Protest Petition as it currently exists in state statute;


That, at this time, the state statute not be amended by a local modification only for Greensboro; and


That we, along with TREBIC, follow the work of the N.C. State Legislative Study Commission on Urban Growth and Infrastructure Issues study on this issue; and

That the Congress continue its dialogue with The Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition on this issue.

In deference to the request of the Greensboro City Council, members of the Congress and TREBIC and others have spent a great deal of time discussing and thinking about this state law. The following factors ultimately guided the Congress vote:

The boundaries of the Congress are the City limits. Given that the City has had no experience with this state law, the Congress does not think we should recommend changes to it just for the City.

One consideration was to recommend a change for the state, but the Congress ultimately decided that was beyond our purview. Again, without any experience with the law in the City and the fact that it does not appear to have presented a problem to any of the other cities in the state, the Congress decided it is not in a position to make a statewide recommendation.

Also given the experience statewide, the Congress believes that the degree of opposition to the Protest Petition is unfounded.

The bill has already been introduced in the State House and Senate and our understanding is that only one of our state legislators has any interest in receiving a suggestion for change from Greensboro.

We are hopeful that TREBIC will be willing to continue with us in watching how this law plays out in Greensboro so that if we see that it does indeed present real problems to the community, we can come together with a recommended solution."

Feb 11, 2009

NC Bills Would Restore Greensboro Protest Petition


The Greensboro Telegram has a new article online with the title "NC Bills Would Restore Greensboro Protest Petition", click on the title above or CLICKHERE

Here is a paragraph from the article.

"New bills have been introduced in both the NC House and Senate to restore the right for adjacent landowners to use protest petitions in zoning cases in the City of Greensboro. The bills appear to fully restore those rights, as opposed to compromise efforts mentioned earlier that some feared would water down the petition's effectiveness.

In the North Carolina House, bill #H64 was filed on February 4th by Representatives Pricey Harrison (D), Maggie Jeffus (D), Alma Adams (D), and Laura Wiley (R). The bill was also co-sponsored by John Blust (R)."

This bill is now in the hands of our State Legislators we hope that it will make it's way through the process smoothly. We will see and if you want to see it's progression there is a section in the top left corner of blog that will take you to the state web site on bills. All you need to do is click on the School House Rock Bill and if you want to see this great video CLICKHERE to see the School House Rock Bill

Feb 8, 2009

Greensboro Neighborhood Congress No Need for a Compromise

Last week brought a lot of clarity to the process of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

On January 21, 2009 the Greensboro City Council completely convoluted the whole process by trying to get the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and the special interest group called TREBIC which is the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition to come to some compromise on STATE LAW.

What part of STATE Law does the Greensboro City Council not understand. 5% rule is a STATE Law and to hear Robbie "Pave It "Perkins whine and complain about the 5% rule along with fellow developer on council Sandra Anderson Groat complain also really showed their true colors. They are not for you as a citizen of Greensboro to have the same rights as every other person in this state they want to keep their TREBIC BLINDERS ON and deny you this right.

Now we find out that this past week that our State Representatives have filed a bill in both the House and Senate to restore Protest Petition to the citizens of Greensboro.You can follow the bill online by going to the top left corner of this blog.

It would be beneficial for the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress to say to TREBIC thanks but no thanks a bill is introduced and on it's way for passage, no compromise needed.

Allen Johnson from the Greensboro News and Record had another great article in today's Ideas section for February 8, 2009 CLICKHERE with the title "Local lawmakers cut through haze on protest petitions".

Here is a few quotes from this article

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Bearing that in mind, state lawmakers have decided not to wait for the Greensboro City Council to hem, haw, ruminate, speechify and attach wholly unnecessary asterisks and conditions to the question of protest petitions.
As they say in the over-priced sneaker business, just do it.

So, Guilford County legislators have moved ahead on their own and filed bills in the state House and Senate that would restore to Greensboro residents a right every other city in the state already has.

Good for them. The lawmakers have simplified a process that the council was making unduly convoluted and drawn-out.

Then later in the article Robbie " Pave It " Perkins had this to say

"Councilman Robbie Perkins on Thursday called the bill "The Lawyer Relief Act of 2009" and said it would hurt small developers and infill projects by making the development process more expensive."

Robbie 'Pave It "Perkins might want to rename it again to "The Isaacson Allen Relief Act of 2009", since those are practically the only 2 lawyers who do zoning cases in Greensboro.

You wonder why their should be a "DUMP THE DEVELOPER PARTY" on Greensboro City Council come fall because you have city council members like this who have their TREBIC BLINDERS ON and cannot see the big picture on a right that was taken away for no reason whatsoever from the citizens of Greensboro.This restoration of Protest Petitions to Greensboro should have been a no brainer but you can see that there is a certain special interest group called the TREBIC CARTEL who want to deny you this right.

There is still the process at the state level that barring some unforseen circumstance will work it's way through the process and give back this right to the citizens of Greensboro without all this confusion of a compromise.

It is time to let TREBIC and all it's minions play with themselves in the tree alone and looking stupid along the way.

Feb 7, 2009

Lead Editorial Saturday February 7, 2009 Protest Petition Clarity

The lead editorial in the Greensboro News and Record for February 7, 2009 with the title "Protest Petition clarity" CLICKHERE or click on the title above.

Below is the editorial .

The Greensboro City Council left confusion last month about its position on protest petitions.

Most of Greensboro's state legislators, in contrast, are perfectly clear.
"It's the right thing to do," Sen. Katie Dorsett said of the bill she filed Wednesday in the Senate to restore "the zoning protest rights of the citizens of the city of Greensboro."

"It's just a matter of equity and fairness," Rep. Pricey Harrison said. She introduced an identical measure in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Don Vaughan and Reps. Maggie Jeffus, Alma Adams and John Blust signed on in support.

Among Greensboro legislators, only Rep. Earl Jones did not. The bill is premature, he said Thursday.
"The City Council is right in the middle of trying to resolve this," he said. "It's a local issue, unique to Greensboro."

The situation is unique to Greensboro, and developers want to make sure it remains that way. In 1971, Greensboro was exempted from a state law that allows neighbors to petition against proposed rezonings. If they meet a threshold, the City Council must vote by a three-fourths supermajority to approve the zoning change.

That makes the issue simple to Dorsett and Harrison. Greensboro is the only one among more than 500 North Carolina municipalities whose citizens don't have this petition power. The exemption should be removed. Their bill would accomplish that. It doesn't affect any other municipality, so there's no reason why the General Assembly should object.

Jones, however, sees another issue: the role of the City Council, which last month asked local proponents and opponents to meet to come up with a compromise.
"We should allow the City Council and local folks to see what they can work out first," Jones said. "Let the City Council do their job and give us a recommendation."

Jones served 18 years on the City Council and respects that process. But it isn't necessary. Legislators represent the people, and they can and should take actions at the state level that serve the interests of their constituents -- no matter what the City Council says or does.

Introducing some "compromise," which would craft for Greensboro a different version of the state law, "probably would enter into more confusion," Dorsett said. No doubt.

If Greensboro interests want to change any part of the bill, Harrison added, they should do it for every city, not just Greensboro.

"It's clear Greensboro citizens want this," Harrison said. "I'm trying to move it pretty quickly."

There's no more reason to wait.
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It is great news to know that there is a bill already filed in both the House and Senate and if you want to follow the bill online there is a section on top left hand side of this blog to see the progress.

To hear State Rep Earl Jones think that this is a local issue unique to Greensboro. What part of STATE LAW does Earl Jones not understand. This exemption for Greensboro was purely political and was done for no reason whatsoever but to deny neighborhoods all over Greensboro the right to Protest Petition and to give the developers the upper hand in zoning cases.

Then you add the Greensboro leaderless City Council with this compromise on January 21st at the last minute to completely muddy the waters.

It was time to see our state representatives take the lead and give back Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro without all this side show compromise crap that looked good but served no purpose.




Feb 5, 2009

State Representative Earl Jones Is A No Show On Protest Petitions for Greensboro Citizens


All of the Guilford delegation in the house side of state government have signed on to bringing back Protest Petitions to the citizens of Greensboro except one Rep. Earl Jones. There were 2 post today on why State Rep. Earl Jones did not sign on.


Yes Weekly Blog post titled "Earl Jones, New Guilford Chair, a holdout on Protest Petition" CLICKHERE


also


Doug Clark from Greensboro News and Record blog called Off The Record post titled "Legislators take the lead on Protest Petitions" with a addendum from State Rep. Earl Jones CLICKHERE


If anyone wants to let State Rep. Earl Jones know how you feel about this issue and for him to sign on to this bill. I urge you to take the information below and let him know.


House District #60

State Rep. Earl Jones

Raleigh office, 919-733-5825

or click on title above and it will take you to his state web page.



Feb 4, 2009

No Compromise Needed Bill To Restore Protest Petition Has Been Filed

It is with great pleasure and a HAT TIP to Ed Cone that tonight we learn that there is a bill which can be seen by clicking on the title above to see that our Guilford Delegation is in the process of restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro.In the N.C House it was sponsored by Harrison, Jeffus, Adams and Wiley with a co sponsor in Blust House Bill #64 filed on 2-4-2009.

Then on the Senate side we have Dorsett and Vaughan who have senate bill #67 filed on 2-4-2009.

We will try to keep you informed on how this bill works it's way through the system but it is great to see it come to fruition.

Take a bow to everyone who has helped on this issue for the citizens of Greensboro. A lot of people wanted to know my motives on why someone from High Point is fighting for the citizens of Greensboro. This basic right under STATE LAW was taken away from you the citizens of Greensboro for no reason whatsoever purely political, and it needed to be brought to the proper attention. Now we have a bill to give the citizens of Greensboro the same rights as every other person in this state has. It will be a new day in the zoning process in Greensboro.

Feb 3, 2009

Briefing of the Guilford Delegation,

Below the fold is a announcement from the City of Greensboro on a meeting on Friday and one of the topics is to share the city's legislative agenda. This agenda should have the restoration of Protest Petition's as a part of the agenda , we will see where that stands with the so called compromise from last week that only muddied the waters. What part of STATE LAW does the Greensboro City Council not understand. It will be interesting to see how the state legislators react to what happened last week. Stay tuned.

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Briefing of the Guilford Delegation

The Guilford Delegation to Raleigh is invited on Friday, February 6, 2009, at 10am to a briefing regarding Annexation and Jordan Lake legislation expected for consideration this session at the General Assembly, both major items of concern for the city.

Some members of the City Council will be in attendance. The briefing will take place in the Plaza Level Conference Room, Melvin Municipal Building, 300 W. Washington Street. City staff will also take the opportunity to encourage the delegation to protect state-shared revenues for municipalities as they look at the budget for this year and next; share the City’s legislative agenda; and economic stimulus projects. This meeting is part of the City’s on-going legislative advocacy efforts.

BETSEY RICHARDSON
CITY CLERK
City of Greensboro
P.O. Box 3136
Greensboro, NC 27402
336.373.2397
betsey.richardson@greensboro-nc.gov

Jan 29, 2009

Blogging History of Protest Petitions For Greensboro Thanks To Ed Cone 1 Year Anniversary 2-2-2008

The history of how a lot of this started can be chronicled at edcone's blog CLICKHERE or click on the title above.In a section on right hand side of blog is the categories section where Protest Petitions is there.

Back on February 2, 2008 a lively discussion got the blogosphere on board as to why and how Greensboro was exempted from Protest Petitions.Then Ed Cone suggested you need to get a blog, sure why not.

It is coming up to close to a year since the blog has been in existence and with over 88 post since last year it is amazing how far it has come.

This blog is dedicated to all the people of Greensboro who for over 37 years have not been getting a fair shake in the zoning process with this exemption of Greensboro from Protest Petitions.

This blog will not let up until we get confirmation from our State Legislators that a bill has been signed and Greensboro abides by Protest Petitions in the zoning process.

It is hard to thank everyone personally as to their commitment on restoring Protest Petitions to Greensboro. Please note that it was a joint effort by a lot of people who made this happen.

The next step in this process is to let your state legislators know how important this is to bring this back to Greensboro.

Have a great day and thanks to the blogosphere who has been there since day 1.