The City of Greensboro has put a halt to a major downtown development project with what can only be termed a bizarre demand.
The Carroll Companies (which owns this publication) has been told by the City of Greensboro that the Carroll South of the Ball Park development must include a stormwater retention pond.
The $140 million Carroll SoBP mixed-use development is designed to wrap around the city’s Eugene Street Parking Deck with frontage on Bellemeade Street, North Eugene Street and Friendly Avenue. The plans call for Carroll SoBP to include a hotel, office and meeting space, with retail on the ground floor and residential on the upper floors. The development was made possible by a complex real estate transaction that resulted in Greensboro buying the Old Guilford County Mental Health property from Guilford County, selling some of that property to Carroll Companies and Carroll Companies trading some of the property it owned to Greensboro to provide the required land for the Eugene Street parking deck.
As part of that real estate transaction, Greensboro is in the process of demolishing the old mental health building.
The City of Greensboro has taken the position that because there were 400 square feet of flower beds around the mental health building, Carroll Companies will have to include a stormwater retention pond in the mixed-use development. That 400 square foot threshold is the same size as a 20 foot by 20 foot living room.
According to the City of Greensboro, the City of Greensboro was not required to build a retention pond for the Eugene Street parking deck because, while the parking deck was built on the same mental health building property, the particular portion of the property where the parking deck was built, including the portion provided by Carroll Companies, did not include flower beds.
It is also worth noting that the February 1 Place parking deck and hotel development currently under construction on Market and Davie Streets was not required to install a retention pond. The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, also built by the city, which opened in 2021 and consumes almost an entire city block was not required to build a retention pond.
In fact, you can search the entire downtown Greensboro area and you won’t find a single retention pond.
According to the city, it is crossing the 400 square foot area of pervious surface threshold that creates the requirement for the retention pond. If 399 square feet of flower beds were being replaced with impervious surface, then no retention pond would be required.
The Greensboro City Council held its annual two-day retreat this week and spent a considerable amount of time discussing the need for more dense development for Greensboro to become a more vibrant city. The decision by city staff to require retention ponds in the urban center city takes Greensboro in the opposite direction.
And having a flock of Canada geese waddling along the streets and sidewalks downtown is definitely not the image of Greensboro that the City Council is working hard to promote.
Good ole Greensboro business friendly as always. Run Forrest Run
Why wouldn’t they help the homelessness issue before adding more buildings in our already crowded downtown. If they want to build, build a better foundation for the ones who has lost their homes due to covid. Or the mother’s who lost their homes and are now in shelters.
In addition to Canadian Geese, get prepared for the mosquitos that retention pond will bring to the downtown. Yippee!!!
It’s Canada geese, not Canadian geese…
Actually it is Canuk gooses that won’t go home, they don’t want to. Trudeau is running everyone out that can get out, and filling Canada up with migrants who will vote for him. Sound familiar?
Hello. What is the retention pond for? If the water is just sitting not moving want that cause health issues? We do not need more geese.
Any time a developer does not want to leave trees, allow for natural space, provide for environmental issues like excess runoff or otherwise impose on anything that can make money, they have a hemorrhage. Work with the city planners to provide for excess water run off so people down the street are not flooded out during summern downpours. So you make 97% of your anticipated income. So what?
where in the downtown facility is another retention pond? i will wait for your answer.
there is none!
The infrastructure is either needed or not
Did you expect anything else. So does that mean the Civil Rights expansion will need a retention pond ? Just asking .
Its this kind of ridiculous over reaching horse crap that causes Greensboro to fall far behind other cities in NC. Between this and Skip Alston this entire area will crumble economically. We need vast new leadership.
But if you don’t provide the proper infrastructure, it will literally crumble around us
Do you even know what a retention pond is and it’s purpose
Hear! Hear! Pave every mother lovin’ square inch! The future is impervious!
The city of Greensboro cannot stop stepping on their own feet. I know several people who have tried to open businesses. One had to get Yvonne Johnson involved after a year of waiting for permits. They suck!
Time for the lawyers to make their money on this deal.
More partisan bull sh$$ from the city. See how much fun it is to work with this city govt?
Lose ten square feet of flower bed.
Some idiot bureaucrat came up with that nonsense – and the mostly idiot City Council is going along with it. Absurd!
Jay , I 100 % agree with you . Ideas start with one person and end up hurting many others , so that said I would very much like to know which one of these looser came up with such asinine idea down town.
Bet 50 cents he or she will not step up and say ” it was my idea ” .
I have never understood why the Greensboro bureaucracy hates to let businesses be successful if there’s any way to block it. They’ll allow the dead space of a ball park chew up city blocks in the name of “development,” though nothing about the ballpark brings traffic to any nearby businesses. But this new development is doing everything right for development — mixing residential, retail, hotel rooms — the correct formula for urban development (cf. downtown in New York, San Francisco. Washington DC, Chicago, and other cities that created thriving downtowns). Naturally, Greensboro’s government has to do all it can to strangle this welcome addition to our city.
It seems there should be some sort of work around concerning the retention pond issue. But I do not consider the ballpark to be dead space. It adds a dimension to the downtown that a lot of cities wish they had and also provides employment for the staff and players. But maybe you would think of it as dead space if you hated sports
And look at the crime in those cities too.
Crowding out existing businesses just adds to
their eventual demise ,for another nonexisting problem . Small business is regulating out of business
for the optics of those big cities and all the big city problems. Start putting these ideas in the Irving Park side of town , where the parking is better.
Please people we need to hurry and vote out this class of clowns. They will run everyone away. This is a few steps above stupid.
yes it is
Oh my, the sky must be falling on the councils heads again! This faux pah is beyond the dept.s not knowing what their job description is much less their right from their left. And all the dollars that are “A Commin'” will likely be found to needing answers for the ol’ circle of “whos on first, whats on second”. Embarrassing, just downright embarrassing. It took to long to get the position to be able to call Greensboro “A vibrant city” and then ‘this’, just ridiculous, fyi: deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd.
City of Greensboro is still living in the 19th century while other cities Raleigh, Winston, Ashville and soon Wilmington will pass right by Greensboro like Charlotte did years ago.
Is this business-friendly? Or some ego gone wild? This is NOT how we want to be known to the development community. At least I hope it’s not. This is one of the reasons I’m running for Greensboro City Council District 5. I need your vote on May 17.
u got it
I believe they should incorporate a retaining pond in the new outdoor drinking area, “the Boro” in order to provide an area where one can sober up quickly if need be, take a leak if one were so inclined, or at least another depository for plastic cups and bottles.
Downtown Retaining Ponds, Huh… guy slips on goose poo & sues the city… or add in another hundred bad scenarios. City Council is as useless as a downtown retaining pond.
I often wonder why humans consider themselves superior to the other species. Must be in the Bible somewhere.
Consider the Canada goose: Lives off the land, sleeps under the stars, lovingly and fiercely cares for their young, flys long distances without stopping using internal navigation, does not devise schemes to kill, torture, harass other members of its species.
And by the way, if you had to flap your wings to go from place to place, you too would be discarding excess weight every chance possible. Goose poop on all your shoes!
Adding back green space, green catch space, and storm water run off pathways lined with greenery to absorb the water as the flower beds did is a simple aesthetic ad environmentally friendly solution. A retaining pond is a eyesore and not a solution in a area trying to be attractive. UNCG has its own courses in sustainable urban solutions such as this. Take the best student submission to solve this without a retention pond!!!
When I went through TRC for the alpaca farm we started on our land, the City of Greensboro tried to tell me that I needed to put in a retention pond, widen the road to add a turning lane, put a side walk across the entire frontage of our property and a bunch of other absolutely insane things.
All I wanted to do was build a 30×40 metal barn and fence in a few pastures for 8 alpaca. I’m building on and fencing in roughly 1.5 acres of the 20 we live on. Also, 8 alpaca create as much poop per day as one horse and their poop is pelletized, there is no run off. Yet they told me I would still need a retention pond.
Luckily I knew how to work the system and rezoned our property to agriculture and became a bonafide farm and now I can build with out any permits.
This process was absolutely insane. All we are doing is having a small family fiber farm, it’s not open to the public, it’s not a zoo. It’s a small business. We are a fiber farm, we produce fiber. Yet the city of greensboro was ready to tell me that in order to do this we would need to invest millions into infrastructure. Absolutely insane.
This is one of the many reasons I am running for Greensboro City Council At-Large. It’s time to make Greensboro Small Business Friendly.
If you get ride of that civil rights monument , then you can have a big beautiful retention pond down town , with some geese , bass and crapy fish.
Then the kids can go padded boating and fishing like the park used to be. BRING IT HOME !
i am a certified retention ponder, my work is ubiquitous. i will gladly install a TEMPORARY POND anywhere legal in COG @ market rate! rsvp