Dec 23, 2011

Guilford County Uses Protest Petition Against City of High Point and Wins

Hat Tip:Rhino Times Paul Clark with a title of article "Council Allows Hinkley Hotel"

In the article this is what was written

"Guilford County filed its protest petition twice – on Dec. 13, signed by Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox and on Dec. 14 signed by Chairman of the Guilford County Commissioners Skip Alston, before the Board of Commissioners voted to authorize the petition – something the High Point City Council could have challenged, but didn't.

"We don't believe it, but we're recognizing the county's protest petition," High Point Mayor Becky Smothers said. "We don't need to get into a lawsuit with y'all."

After a nearly five-hour public hearing and debate, Smothers could muster only five votes to rezone the 91.5 acres, but not the supermajority of seven votes needed because of the county protest petition. Barring an upset bid by another developer, the sale by Guilford County to GEO Care should go through.

It seemed fairly clear before the meeting that Smothers didn't have the required supermajority, but the addition of three new councilmembers last year upset old voting blocs and has made City Council debates less certain and more interesting. In addition, the City Council chamber was standing room only, and members of the audience leaned against the walls.

The debate showed the wide divide between High Point's two classes: the political and business class, which is dominated by developers and property managers, and its working class, which is made up primarily of former furniture plant and textile mill workers. The developers and politicians are focused on the long-term development and improvement of High Point, but the working class neighborhoods are desperate for jobs and unwilling to pass them up based on promises of better development in the future."

This is great to see more people understand and use the protest petition in zoning cases. It is odd to see the owner of the property use the protest petition because usually it is the adjoining property owners who want to object to a certain property being rezoned for usually a commercial or higher residential uses. This case might get more scrutiny because just this past week we have both the county and the City of Greensboro want to extend water and sewer to over 9,000 acres in eastern Guilford County which means more residential development being rezoned from agriculture. The use of protest petition is only allowed in municipalities but with a bill getting passed in the state legislature we could see in future a place where the whole citizens of Guilford County can use the protest petition in zoning cases .

Dec 15, 2011

Guilford County Manager Fox Uses Protest Petition Against the City of High Point

Hat Tip : Paul Clark from Rhino Times

Rhino Times is reporting today in a new front page article titled "County Protest Petitions Abound" CLICKHERE

It is very unusual to see the owners of the property file a protest petition especially when the owner is you and i who live in Guilford County. Paul Clark talks about the whole situation involving land that Guilford County owns and wants to sell to a company from Florida to have a secured mental hospital.

 below from Rhino:
The hand-delivered protest petition was signed only by Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox. But Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, said he would sign another copy on Wednesday and seek the approval of the Board of Commissioners at its Thursday, Dec. 15 meeting.

"That's right," Alston said. "I'm going down there to sign it myself shortly. We thought she could do it as manager, but to be on the safe side, I'm going down there to sign it myself. I'm doing it on behalf of the county."

Alston said the protest petition had to be turned in to the High Point Planning and Development Department by 5 p.m. on Wednesday to meet a deadline of two business days before the High Point City Council meeting.

The Fox-signed protest petition shows every sign of being hurriedly prepared. It is accompanied only by a cover letter by Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne and contains no supporting material other than a copy of the state requirements for a protest petition.

State law allows the owner of at least 20 percent of the land to be rezoned to file a protest petition; Alston said the two county parcels involved add up to 24 percent of the land that would be rezoned 
This make for a interesting situation in Guilford County because now they have set them up for a group of people to maybe in future try to make the whole county have to abide by the protest petition just like other municipalities all over the state do it might just be time for the counties all over the state as well to abide by the protest petition

We have counties like Durham who use the protest petition for the whole county and looking at what the Guilford County Commissioners did in regards to this situation in High Point it might be something to consider in the future for the residents of Guilford County. Could we see a protest petition for Guilford County in the future? Maybe just like some people told us we would not get protest petition for Greensboro do not underestimate us on this situation.

Also we have the Greensboro News and Record who has a post out as well CLICKHERE

Nov 14, 2011

Protest Petition Has Been Filed on Rezoning Case Off of Horse Pen Creek Road For Greensboro City Council

Below is agenda item for the November 15, 2011 Greensboro City Council Meeting

24. Ordinance amending Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan Generalized Future Land Use Map (GFLUM) for property located at 3223 Horse Pen Creek Road. (Council District: 3)
(roll call vote) (Attachment #24 CP-11-07) to Councilmembers)
25. Ordinance rezoning from R-3 (Residential-Single Family) to CD-O (Conditional District – Office) for property located at 3223 Horse Pen Creek Road, generally described as north of Horse Pen Creek Road and west of Hanberry Drive. (Council District: 3) (roll call vote)
(Attachment #25 (PL (Z) 11-18) to Councilmembers) A PROTEST PETITION WAS FILED WITH THE CITY CLERK ON NOVEMBER 8, 2011 AT 11:23 A.M.

This has been the first Protest Petition for Greensboro in awhile but looking at the Zoning staff report it was funny to look the transportation section of the report to have this to say about Horse Pen Creek Road.

Transportation Street Classification Horse Pen Creek Road – Minor Thoroughfare

Tagging Horse Pen Creek Road as a minor thoroughfare is a joke. I am sure this rezoning will pass but the area where this is being rezoned is way too crowded and this property should stay residential not  office. To tag this property office is a slippery slope and should not happen.

Let's see King Zoning Stud Lawyer Henry Isaacson do his typical dog and pony show in front of the Greensboro City Council on this rezoning but it is great to see the Protest Petition being used in the zoning process.

Aug 22, 2011

White Street Landfill, Protest Petition and Yes! Weekly Interview with Nancy Vaughan

Jordan Green from Yes!Weekly is interviewing the candidates in the upcoming Greensboro municipal election and we see that Protest Petition has been brought up on the campaign trail. In this Yes! Weekly blog interview we have this from the article:

"While Vaughan was not on council at the time the body took action on the matter in 2009, she strongly advocated for the restoration of the protest petition in Greensboro.

Under current zoning, phases VI and V at the White Street Landfill can only be used for fill dirt, excluding use as a landfill. In addition to obtaining permits from the NC Department of Natural Resources, the city council would also have to hold a public hearing and take a vote to rezone the tracts before the city could begin accepting household waste in the two areas.

“At that point, it would fall under the protest petition,” Vaughan said. “Residents with adjacent property would have the opportunity to file for the protest petition. If that’s the case, in order to use IV and V they will have to have a super majority…. That means they need seven affirmative votes. Do you think there are seven council members who would vote for that?"

Four members of the nine-member council have recently prevailed to reopen the landfill against three members opposed. Councilman Zack Matheny, like Vaughan, has been conflicted out."

To see the whole interview CLICKHERE

If what we hear from what Nancy Vaughan is saying then the gang of four will not have a fighting chance of this ever passing the Greensboro City Council with the Protest Petition being used in the zoning process. Will we see any other media outlet pick up this interesting piece of the White Street Landfill issue? This is a huge story and we will see if the protest petition is used by the abutting neighbors . More to come on this issue.

Will post this also on my Triadwatch blog which came about because of this blog Protest Petition for Greensboro.

Feb 12, 2011

Protest Petition Will Play a Part in Property Off of Alamance Church Road for Continued Zoning Case

UPDATE #2 this zoning case did pass the greensboro city council on 2-15-2011 with a vote of 8-1 with tdbs the no vote  even with a protest petition filed.


This was in the agenda for next weeks Greensboro City Council meeting.

19. Ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-5 (Conditional District-Residential Multi Family) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) for property located at 1419 Alamance Church Road, generally described as north of Alamance Church Road and west of Zornbrook Drive. (Council District: 1) (roll call vote) (Attachment #19 (PL(Z)10-14) to Councilmembers) THIS ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE JANUARY 18TH, 2011 MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING. A VALID PROTEST PETITION HAS BEEN FILED. _________________________________________________________________________________
The Greensboro News and Record on their online version which you can't link to states that this zoning case below has a valid Protest Petition filed :

22. Ordinance rezoning from CD-RM-5 (Conditional District-Residential Multi Family) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) for property located at 1419 Alamance Church Road, generally described as north of Alamance Church Road and west of Zornbrook Drive. (Council District: 1) (roll call vote) (Attachment #22 (PL(Z) 10-14) to Councilmembers) COUNCIL IS BEING ASKED TO CONTINUE THIS ITEM UNTIL THE FEBRUARY 15, 2011 MEETING OF COUNCIL.

The  Carolina Peacemaker has a post after the case went in front of zoning board back in December of 2010 titled "Residents Object To rezoning on Alamance Church Road", CLICKHERE

The lawyer for the applicant is none other than Marc Isaacson the son of King Zoning Stud Henry Isaacson. As you can see right before this case was to go in front of the Greensboro City Council the lawyer looked into his playbook to continue this item till next month as usual. This continuence by our local lawyers is getting very old. It is time for the neighborhood to sit down with the applicant and get as many conditions on this property as possible or if the applicant will not budge then it is time to see how the Protest Petition works in front of council.

We will see what happens in front of Greensboro City Council but it is great to see neighborhoods all over Greensboro finally get the chance to use this state law in the zoning process. It should have never been taken away from the citizens of Greensboro but glad to see it used in plenty of zoning cases .