Aug 12, 2010

N.C. House Rep.Pricey Harrison Should Be Very Proud of Her Role in Restoring Protest Petition to Greensboro

Yes Weekly! with a blog post from Jordan Green talks with  N.C. House Rep. Pricey Harrison . In this candidate profile here is what she had to say about Protest Petition for Greensboro.CLICKHERE for the blog post.

"  She’s particularly proud of her role in restoring the protest petition, a mechanism by which a certain threshold of neighbors to property proposed for rezoning can force the city council to muster a supermajority for approval, to Greensboro.

“I strived hard to get our [Guilford County] delegation's support,” Harrison said. “I spoke out pretty often about it. Not everybody was on board. There was also significant resistance from the developer community.”

Rep. Pricey Harrison worked very hard to return this state law back to the citizens of Greensboro, she should be very proud of this accomplishment . It was a long hard fight to bring this back to the citizens of Greensboro and Pricey Harrison was the first state representative who wanted to learn about this travesty and do something about it and she did with this House Bill #64 CLICKHERE

Aug 10, 2010

The Birthplace of Protest Petition in Greensboro Just Got Down Zoned Off of Friendly Avenue

The Greensboro Zoning Commission had a meeting last night on 8-9-2010 and on the agenda was this case.

8. Z-10-08-005 - 6705 West Friendly Avenue and 613 Pompano Drive (South of West Friendly Avenue and west of Pompano Drive) – An ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-18 (Conditional District-Residential Multi Family) to CD-R-3 (Conditional District-Residential Single Family) with the following conditions:

1. Uses: Limited to a place of religious assembly and permitted educational facilities.

– for property located at 6705 West Friendly Avenue and 613 Pompano Drive, generally described as south of West Friendly Avenue and west of Pompano Drive. (5.94 Acres)

– For Korean Baptist Church.(Sheet(s) 219 and 220)
This item is a major step in the process of healing a neighborhood that was torn apart but also brought together to bring back Protest Petition to the citizens of Greensboro. As you can see from above, the Korean Church wants to DOWN ZONE and yes that is DOWN ZONE property in Greensboro N.C. from CDRM 18 to CDR-3 . This takes out a major part of the rezoning of a massive apartment complex that Guilford County Commissioner Mike Winstead had planned on the property along with the adjoining property next door which is owned by Ex State Senator Bob Shaw who happens to be married to Guilford County Commissioner Linda Shaw. We also had Ex Greensboro City Council member Mike Barber who had to recuse himself from this rezoning case from a few years ago for a conflict of interest. Then we had current at large Greensboro City Council member Robbie Perkins be the deciding factor for this rezoning case to be passed back on February 5th 2008.Look at all of the political aspects of this issue.
Here is a link to a news story from Channel 14 CLICKHERE
Here are  the minutes from the meeting which had to come back in front of council for a second reading and Robbie Perkins back to vote.
Mayor Johnson introduced an ordinance rezoning from Conditional District-General Business and

Residential Single Family 12 to Conditional District-Residential Multifamily-18 for property located on the south side of West Friendly Avenue between Forsythia Drive and Nora Drive. The Mayor advised that this was the Second Reading for the ordinance after having received 4 affirmative votes at the January 15, 2008 Council meeting

.Councilmember Perkins noted that he was absent from the January 17 Council meeting but advised he had
watched the meeting, reviewed the materials related to this matter and was prepared to vote. He offered brief comments in support of this rezoning.

After Councilmember Barber stated that he must abstain from voting due to a conflict of interest,
Councilmember Matheny moved to permit Councilmember Barber to abstain due to conflict of interest.

 The motion was seconded by Perkins and adopted by voice vote of Council.

Councilmember Matheny moved adoption of the ordinance and stated that the Greensboro City Council
believes that its action to approve the zoning amendment, located on West Friendly Avenue from CD-GS and RS-12 to CD-RM-18 to be consistent with the adopted Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan and considers the action taken to be reasonable and in the public interest for the following reasons: it is consistent with the high residential land use category indicated for this site on the Connections 2025 Generalized Future Land Use Map, it is consistent with the growth at the fringe goal to promote sound and sustainable land use patterns and compact development, and it promotes the diversification of new housing stock to meet the needs for suitable housing..

The motion was seconded by Councilmember Wade; the ordinance was adopted on the following roll call vote: Ayes: Groat, Matheny, Perkins, Wade and Wells. Noes: Bellamy-Small, Johnson and Rakestraw, with Councilmember Barber abstaining due to conflict of interest.

It is time to thank the shaws, winsteads, barbers and perkins on approving, abstaining and bringing  this rezoning case to the citizens of Greensboro because  now a few years later it is DOWN ZONED back to what it should have been in the first place and now the citizens of Greensboro have the right to use Protest Petitions in zoning cases all over Greensboro like every other city in this state had the right to do. This was a huge rezoning case that brought many people all over the city and even the interloper from High Point on the case. It was a hard fought battle with the local Lobbyist Organization called TREBIC which is the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition and plenty of folks on the other side and let me end with this PEOPLE POWER PEOPLE POWER CLICKHERE

May 18, 2010

Kotis Properties, Lindley Park Neighborhood and Sherwin-Williams and the Dynamics of Protest Petition for the Future

At the Greensboro City Council meeting tonight May 18, 2010 you will see the dynamics of how a Protest Petition can and does work for all sides of a zoning case.

A little history of this rezoning case can be seen at this previous post CLICKHERE  on March 29, 2010. Then in today's Greensboro News & Record  CLICKHERE with a title "Sherwin-Williams Drops Protest"  but the title should read "Sherwin-Williams Drops Protest Petition" , just for this blogs mind on the new title and a note to Taft Wireback it is Protest Petition not just a formal protest.

Then tonight we see Amanda Lehmert has a post about the zoning case where the Greensboro City Council voted unanimously for this project.

Here is a quote from the rhino times in regards to this zoning case,

"It would be fascinating to see the protest petition used against a project that the Lindley Park Neighborhood Association was supporting. It would definitely put the shoe on the other foot."

This quote from above is from this post on the rezoning case CLICKHERE

As we can see from what happened from this rezoning case that even when the shoe is on the other foot it still worked out in the end with or without the use of the Protest Petition. This case is a great example of how both sides of this rezoning case can come together to work out their differences and to see this project pass with a unanimous vote in front of the Greensboro City Council.

We also saw Greensboro City Council member Mary Rakestraw praise both sides on this case and to me it shows that using the Protest Petition when both sides can come together on aspects of the rezoning to work out the differences and take the protest petition off the table and agree with the new conditions and move forward into the future.

This case will not make the college hill neighborhood happy on what happened to them with the newman machinery buildings on the other side of spring garden street but would say that Lindley Park Neighborhood Association was there to make sure the process worked out for them and we will see a renovated Historic Rolane Building from Kotis Properties  in the future.

Protest Petition for Greensboro is alive and well and this case shows you that both sides can come to the table and work things out and then before the meeting drop the Protest Petition and come together with a project that makes sense for a building that has been empty for a long time.

Apr 7, 2010

Edwards Companies Wins 8-0 approval even with a Protest Petition

There was a very contentious rezoning case in front of the Greensboro City Council where the Edwards Communities will build a humongous student housing on the old newman machinery properties off of Spring Garden street. Good luck with traffic around that area in the future but College Hill Sundries will be a happy camper. The Greensboro City Council voted 8-0 with Nancy Vaughan recusing herself from the vote because her husband State Senator Don Vaughan was the lawyer for the opposition.This 8-0 vote also had a valid Protest Petition as a part of the case.

To read more on this issue here is a link to the Greensboro News & Record article out tonight CLICKHERE

This rezoning case has been continued for a long time but one aspect of this case in regards to the Protest Petition is that the save college hill group opposing this rezoning played the Protest Petition even before this case went in front of the zoning commission, that was a mistake. This new law will be interesting to see how it is used in plenty of zoning cases in the future but in this case the Greensboro City Council voted overwhelmingly for student housing off of spring garden street clearly against the wishes of the neighborhood and with the use of Protest Petition on Greensboro City Council.

Mar 29, 2010

Sherwin-Williams Might Be The First Business To Use Protest Petition in Greensboro

At the Greensboro Zoning Commission meeting on March 8, 2010 there was a zoning case in regards to a property that has been around for a very long time which is called the old rolane building off of spring garden street in Greensboro. To read a article on what is planned for this property here is a link to a Triad Business Journal article CLICKHERE . Below is the agenda and the case in question

6. Z-10-03-002 - 2610 Oakland Avenue (North of Oakland Avenue, south of Hiatt Street, east of South Lindell Road and west of Howard Street) – An ordinance rezoning from HI (Heavy Industrial) to CD-PDI (Conditional District-Planned Unit Development-Infill) *[PUD (Planned Unit Development )] with the following conditions:

1. All uses allowed in the PDI zoning district except for the following: Automobile Sales (no service); Automobile Repair Services, Major; Automobile towing; Pest and Termite Control; Truck Terminals; Bingo Games; Coin Operated Amusement; Fortune Tellers, Astrologers; Billiard Parlors; Funeral Homes or Crematoriums; Convenience Stores with fuel pumps; Pawn Shops; Service Stations, gasoline; Bus Terminals; Taxi Terminals; Sexually Oriented Businesses; Junked Motor Vehicles; Shelters for the Homeless; Motor Vehicle Sales.

2. Any structures built within 250 feet of Oakland Avenue shall have a maximum height of six stories above the average elevation of finished grade.

3. Any structures built within 315 feet of Hiatt Street shall have a maximum height of three stories above the average elevation of finished grade.

4. The developer must reserve either 2.25 acres or 40,000 square feet of building area within the subject property for non-residential uses (the “Non-Residential Reserved Area”).

5. Developer shall provide direct pedestrian access from Howard Street to at least 50% of the Non-Residential Reserved Area. In addition, Developer will ensure that at least 50% of the Non-Residential Reserved Area will be visible from Howard Street. Non-Residential use of the Boiler Room building with good access and visibility provided to Howard Street would fit these guidelines.

6. 51% of the original structure of the main building will be preserved to the extent where economically feasible. If severe damage or structural deterioration is discovered in portions of the main building, preservation of these portions of the building may be judged infeasible. Likewise, preservation of the 51% or more of the remaining sound sections of the main building would be undertaken with development of this site to the extent it is deemed historic by the State of North Carolina, and to the extent it is economically feasible.

– for property located at 2610 Oakland Avenue, generally described as north of Oakland Avenue, south of Hiatt Street, east of South Lindell Road and west of Howard Street (8.72 Acres)

– Henry Isaacson for H 1010, LLC.(Sheet(s) 45)
The above agenda item is going to come up in front of Greensboro City Council very soon and have heard that the Sherwin-Williams Company is going to use the Protest Petition and around the 52 minute mark of the zoning commission meeting you can hear their hired gun in lawyer Tom Terrell in opposition of this rezoning talk about the use of Protest Petition.
One of the arguments of not bringing back Protest Petition into the City of Greensboro was that one adjacent property owner can have enough property to make a valid Protest Petition. Well if Sherwin-Williams does follow through on using this state law then we will see if the Greensboro City Council will take that into consideration because it seems like the whole Lindley Park Neighborhood Association is in favor of this mixed use development with a few dissentions but Sherwin-Williams wants everyone to know that this is a chemical plant and they are not in favor of this rezoning case.
There is also going to be a very contentious rezoning case on the other side of spring garden street with the neighborhood association in opposition to a mixed use student housing near college hill. CLICKHERE and we know that they have already used the Protest Petition on this rezoning.
It would be interesting to see how the Greensboro City Council will take this use of Protest Petition into effect in regards to this mixed use development offered by Kotis Properties and seeing one property owner using the Protest Petition and maybe getting Norfolk Southern railroad to sign it as well.
Looking at this property and knowing that this was always for a longtime going to be a mixed use development and hearing King Zoning Stud Henry Isaacson talk about this and this property has been vacant for awhile it seems like this is a right fit for the area . It looks like Sherwin-Williams wants to come in at the eleventh hour and put a wrinkle into the process as commissioner Mary Skenes pointed out at the zoning meeting.
We will see what happens in front of Greensboro City Council and if Kotis Properties has enough votes for it to be a 7-2  in favor of this mixed use development or will Sherwin-Williams have the 3 votes for it to get denied on a 6-3 vote.

Mar 16, 2010

Protest Petition Was Not Needed But Used at Greensboro City Council Meeting 3-16-2010

Ordinance rezoning classification from RS-9 (Residential – Single Family) to CD-GO-M (Conditional District – General Office – Moderate Intensity) for property located at 2404 Liberty Road, generally described as the west side of Liberty Road, east of J.M. Hunt, Jr. Expressway and south of Alamance Church Road. A VALID PROTEST PETITION HAS BEEN RECEIVED. (Council District: 1) (roll call vote) (Attachment #30 (PL(Z)10-02) to Councilmembers) (THIS ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE FEBRUARY 16TH MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING)

At the Greensboro City Council meeting on 3-16-2010 there was a valid protest petition on the above agenda item. The Greensboro City Council denied the rezoning on a 9-0 vote , so in reality the neighborhood really didn't need the protest petition but good to have it a part of the arsenal.

There was one aspect of this rezoning case with a valid protest petition that needs to be addressed in that the Greensboro City Council might want to address the denial process of voting in regards to the protest petition. There was some confusion at the meeting when Councilwomen Small made a motion to deny this rezoning case. In denying the rezoning case that meant you were voting in favor of denial so plenty coulcilmembers were wanting to make sure how they voted on a denial. It is a tough issue to vote in favor of a denial when they might should be voting in favor of this rezoning case and if you don't get the 7 votes than it is denied. Now it looks like if someone votes to deny than they will have to turn the petition in reverse and the ones in favor will be voting as a no vote.

If you can follow what i just said please do but it is crazy how they did the vote tonight.

I looks like the neighborhood made a real good case for not rezoning this property and the protest petition was used.

Feb 16, 2010

Add Another Protest Petition To The City Of Greensboro, then Continued Again

Ordinance rezoning classification from RS-9 (Residential - Single Family) to CD-GO-M (Conditional District - General Office - Moderate Intensity) for property located at 2404 Liberty Road, generally described as the west side of Liberty Road, east of J.M. Hunt, Jr. Expressway and south of Alamance Church Road. (Council District: 1) (roll call vote) (Attachment #14 (PL(Z)10-02) to Councilmembers

This rezoning case  received a valid protest petition . It looks like the applicant wants to continue this case till March 16th 2010 without further advertisement.The applicant did what they always do and continued the rezoning case at the last minute. This move to continue the rezoning case at the last minute needs to get a complete overhaul. To have people take their time and effort to come down to the city council's then have the applicant want a continuance at the last minute is unacceptable. But as we have seen from these local developers this is their modus operandi on doing this move in the zoning process.

Feb 2, 2010

Greensboro City Council Member Zack Matheny and Just How Does The Local Developers Feel about Protest Petition?

The above video is from the Greensboro City Council meeting on February 2, 2010 where there was a rezoning case off of elm street and cornwallis in Greensboro with the abutting neighbors filed a protest petition on this case. Let's take a  look at a little history on just how they got to this point in a post on this site titled "Greensboro City Counciul Member Zack Matheny has a Golfing Buddy,Campaign Donor and Rezoning Case with Protest Petition" CLICKHERE .

 As seen from the above video it seems like the local developers are none too happy with the new law for the citizens of Greensboro. As the councilman stated the local developers are "frustrated" with the Protest Petition. How do the citizens of Greensboro feel for the past 30 years? The local developers are frustrated but the citizens of Greensboro have been getting the shaft in the zoning process for a long time. It is time for the developers to actually talk with the neighborhoods and put plenty of conditions on these properties like what you saw in this elm street case even though it passed with a protest petition filed.

We need to remind everyone in Greensboro that the local special interest group Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition "TREBIC" , fought to have your rights as a citizen of this state taken away from denying this state law from you. There was a coalition of folks all over this area who worked their butt off for you to have this right back some 30 years later. As you can see from your local councilman the developers are frustrated because of this bill and what you heard tonight then it was all worth it.

Enjoy having protest petition as a part of the zoning process and in this case you win some and you lose some but as you can see this was a far cry from what they wanted at the beginning of this process granted single family residential was the ultimate goal but there are a lot of conditions on this property you wouldn't had if there was not a protest petition as a part of the process

Elm Street and Cornwallis Rezoning Case Passes Even with Protest Petition

The elm street and cornwallis rezoning case has been going on for a long long time and ed cone has a whole section titled elm and cornwallis CLICKHERE  to see a history of this rezoning case. At tonight' Greensboro City Council meeting 2-2-2010 first off we had 2 recusals in Mayor Pro Temp Nancy Vaughan because her husband represented the neighborhood in opposition to this case . We also had Greensboro City Council member Robbie Perkins also recuse himself because he has a 12% stake in this development with John Stratton the developer.

The Protest Petition came up plenty in this rezoning case and once i try my hand at youtube will get some video to show . The vote on this rezoning passed 6-1 with TDB Small voting against.

This case had plenty of issues but it is great to see the Protest Petition be a part of the process good or not in the neighborhoods favor. It is a new day for rezoning in Greensboro and the developers need to start listening to the neighborhood because in the past they have had the votes without much conditions put on properties . Now we will see more back and forth between the different sides in the case and hopefully a better resolution.

Now on to the next protest petition case in the newman machinery  against the college hill area of greensboro. That is going to be a tough case as well with a dump load of economic impact involved compared to this small elm street rezoning.

Jan 9, 2010

Rhino Times On Greensboro City Council and The Power of Protest Petitions

The Rhino Times has a article out in this week's edition with a headline, "Council Doesn't Like New Seats", CLICKHERE . In this article he talks about the ramifications of this new law for the citizens of Greensboro. Here is a part of the article talking about Protest Petition for Greensboro.

"One thing to watch in this new seating arrangement will be how Bellamy-Small votes on rezoning requests. Traditionally she has voted against them, particularly if they were in east Greensboro. Perkins, who is in the commercial real estate profession, votes for almost all projects that can muster enough votes to be approved, and he votes for quite a few that fail. If Perkins votes against a rezoning request then generally everyone votes against it.

But with the new protest petition this whole issue of rezoning has shifted. Before, a developer only had to be able to convince five councilmembers it was a good project. Now, if a protest petition is filed, for the project to be approved a supermajority of the City Council must vote in favor of it. So the developer would have to convince seven out of nine. Or since Vaughan and Perkins appear to be abstaining from the controversial rezoning requests, six out of seven votes would be needed to pass a rezoning request.

Perkins, being in the real estate business, has to abstain a lot. And Vaughan's husband, state Sen. Don Vaughan, as an attorney is representing a good number of neighborhoods who are opposing rezoning requests. It's a pretty sweet deal for Nancy Vaughan because she will not have to take a public stand on many controversial rezoning requests where councilmembers are often caught between making a neighborhood mad and doing what they think is best for the city."

It will be interesting to see how citizens all over this city use the Protest Petition. Some have waited till last minute to file theirs like the group off of elm and cornwallis the first time it came up in front of council. But with a slick move by Councilman Zack Matheny he changed his vote from yes to no after the meeting and has the opportunity to bring up the denied zoning case again. Now this new case had another protest petition added to the mix as well as the one that was used the first go around. 

Now we also have a controversial case off of spring garden street where the neighborhood association filed their Protest Petition well before the case was even heard at the zoning commission. The Protest Petition can only be used in front of council. This was their perogative to file way early in the process but in general it is to your benefit to wait and see if the conditions put on the property are to your liking to even file the petition.

We will see what happens in the future but it is great to see this law back on the books in Greensboro and being a part of the zoning process.


Jan 4, 2010

Protest Petition Group Wins an Award

The Inside Scoop of the Greensboro News & Record CLICKHERE has their end of year awards. This site and plenty of citizens all over Greensboro and High Point will be happy to take this award and know that this lost cause should have never been taken away from the citizens of Greensboro to begin with. Below is what was said in the inside scoop.

The Lost Cause Cup

WINNERS: Supporters of the protest petition, including local blogger and gadfly Keith Brown. They battled the foot-dragging of City Council and muscle of the real estate community to get Greensboro residents a powerful tool to fight unwanted development.