A request for Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning at the northwest corner of Pisgah Church Road and Church Street on the agenda for the Tuesday, Jan. 18 City Council meeting is strikingly similar to a rezoning request the City Council denied in September.
The request appears more complicated than it is, since some of the 21.5 acres is currently in the city but a portion has to be annexed and zoned, and if the zoning is approved the city, in accordance with state law, has to rezone a strip of city-owned land.
But the actual rezoning request to PUD with a convenience store on the northwest corner of Pisgah Church Road and Church Street with a 430-unit multifamily development behind it is extremely similar to a rezoning request in September at the intersection of South Elm Eugene Street and Vivian Lane. That request was also for PUD zoning with a convenience store on the corner and a multifamily development behind it.
The rezoning request in September for the Vivian Lane property was denied by a 5-to-4 vote of the City Council that split along racial lines. All five African-American members of the City Council voted against the rezoning in southeast Greensboro and all four white members of the City Council voted in favor.
The main objections to the rezoning request included that it wasn’t good enough for the area. Councilmember Sharon Hightower said that instead of a convenience store she wanted more upscale development. Hightower said, “Bring us a Whole Foods and bring us a Fresh Market.”
Councilmember Goldie Wells said that allowing a convenience store on the corner in that area had “the potential for creating a ghetto.”
Hightower was the most outspoken opponent of the rezoning request and no one living in the immediate vicinity of the property spoke in opposition.
One major difference in the two rezoning requests is that the convenience store with fuel pumps already exists on the corner of Pisgah Church Road and Church Street. Another is that most of the property on Vivian Lane is zoned for a trailer park, while the property on Pisgah Church Road is made up of a variety of residential and commercial zoning districts.
City staff recommends in favor of this rezoning request.