McConnell Road is the hot spot for development in Greensboro right now – if you use controversial rezoning requests as the measuring stick.
The Greensboro City Council talks at nearly every meeting about the desperate need for more development in East Greensboro, but when rezoning requests in that area come before the council, they often fail.
On the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15 is another controversial rezoning request for McConnell Road. Earlier this year, the City Council considered two rezoning requests – one on the east side of Innisbrook Village Apartments and one on the west side. One of those was approved and one denied.
This request is for 34 acres across McConnell Road from Innisbrook and it is for a residential development to be zoned Planned Unit Development with a maximum of 150 units and developed by Evolve Companies. The concept for the property is called a “Hip Community” by Evolve and would be a detached multifamily development with the amenities of a large apartment development. The land is currently zoned agricultural by Guilford County and would have to be annexed before it could be rezoned.
The Planning Department has recommending against the rezoning. The Zoning Commission passed a motion to deny the rezoning request on a 4-3 vote.
Several zoning commissioners noted that because there was an annexation involved, they were only making a recommendation to the City Council and if they had the final authority on the rezoning they might vote differently.
The property is just west of Clapp Farm Road and the opposition came from Clapp family members who said this area was a farming community and should remain agricultural.
The reason the Planning Department opposed the rezoning for residential development is that this is a portion of a large area the Comprehensive Plan designates as mixed-use corporate park and should be reserved for corporate uses. But a mixed-use corporate park area is mixed use because it includes supporting uses such as hotels, retail and residential, which makes this proposed development appear to comply with the Comprehensive Plan designation.
So the neighbors in opposition want no development and the city is opposed because it sees the land with a higher intensity development than residential.
A representative of the Carroll Companies, which owns Innisbrook Village Apartments, spoke in favor of this rezoning request at the Zoning Commission meeting. The Carroll Companies (which also owns this publication) opposed both earlier rezoning requests on McConnell Road.
City Councilmember Justin Outlng said that while he favored development in East Greensboro, he wasn’t convinced residential was the highest and best use for this land. He added that he would wait until he heard the presentations at the City Council meeting before making up his mind.