The Greensboro City Council appears to be taking its own goal to increase housing density in Greensboro seriously.
The City Council had three zoning requests on the agenda at the Tuesday, Feb. 16 meeting.
Two were annexations and original zonings, and two had neighborhood opposition. All three were approved unanimously.
Since under the current state annexation laws just about the only way Greensboro can grow geographically is when property owners request annexation, the City Council doesn’t turn down many.
The one that was not an annexation was a request to rezone 6.8 acres on Whitfield Drive near the intersection of North Elm Street and Pisgah Church Road from Residential Single-Family-3 (R-3) to Conditional District-Residential Multi-Family-8 (CD-RM-8).
Judy Stadler, representing the developer, said they saw CD-RM-8 as a good transition between the RM-12 on one side of the property and the R-3 on the other. She also noted that this was one of the last vacant properties of significant size in that area. Stadler said the plan was to build 45 townhomes on the land.
The neighborhood opposition spoke more about how the streets in that area had not been widened since it was annexed in the 1980s and the existing traffic problems than about the proposed development.
Greensboro Department of Transportation Director Hanna Cockburn explained that the city had no program to widen streets once areas were annexed. A drive around any of Greensboro’s older residential neighborhoods would indicate that this is true.
The standard argument that the development was too dense for the area was also made.
City Councilmember Goldie Wells said, “As we do more infill, we are going to be having this conversation over and over again. Neighborhoods don’t want change.”
She also said that the City Council was always talking about wanting development in the east and this was development in the east and appeared to be a good project.
The council also approved an annexation and original zoning of Conditional District-Residential Multi-Family-5 (CD-RM-5) for 5.7 acres at 5281 Mackay Road.
Although the address is Mackay Road, the proposed 20-unit townhome development will access Chadwick Drive.
The opposition stated that Chadwick Drive couldn’t handle the additional traffic, that townhomes weren’t a good fit for the single-family neighborhood, people wouldn’t like living next to a horse ring just on the other side of the property line and that adding 20 homes wasn’t going to solve Greensboro’s housing shortage.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “I know that we need more housing and 20 homes isn’t going to solve that, but it certainly is going to help.”
The other case was an annexation and original zoning to R-3 of a 0.39 acre lot on Groometown Road that had no opposition.