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