Rezoning property for an emergency veterinary clinic on Lawndale Avenue, a heavily traveled corridor in northwest Greensboro, was the most controversial land use request at the Tuesday, Aug. 16 City Council meeting.

The rezoning request, after much discussion, passed by a 7-2 vote with District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm and District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower voting no.  Hightower votes no on nearly every rezoning request that has a hint of opposition, and some that don’t, so her vote was no surprise.

The request was to rezone 2.23 acres at 4525 and 4527 Lawndale Dr. from Residential Multifamily-12 (RM-12) to Conditional District Commercial Low (CD-C-L) from the property owner Patrick Lineberry on behalf of Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic.

District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny, who represents the area, said, “I think this is good infill development and I certainly support it.”

Matheny noted that the City Council had to consider what else could go on this 2-acre parcel on the Lawndale corridor not far from the interchange with the Outer Loop.

At-large City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter noted that under the current zoning the property could be developed with three-story apartment buildings and said to the opponents, “I really think you might want to consider that you’re getting a pretty good deal considering the other things that could go there that might not be as amenable.”

District 4 City Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann, who participated in the meeting via Zoom, said, “I think this is the least intrusive type of development that this property could be used for.  The alternatives are not nearly as compatible.”

Nathan Duggins of the Tuggle Duggins law firm representing Happy Tails noted that there would be no outdoor kennels or dog runs, that the lighting would be directed to the site and the rear portion of the property would remain undisturbed.

He also said that most of the activity would be at night, when regular veterinary clinics are closed, and that the emergency clinic averaged about one client an hour.

The opponents argued that this was a residential area and the lighting and noise would disturb the area and affect the quality of life.  Also that the facility would displace wildlife, and removing the tree buffer would increase the traffic noise.