The meeting of the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 17 might be dubbed the New Garden Road Council meeting.
There are two big New Garden Road issues on the agenda that will likely fill the Council Chamber with folks from the northwest quadrant of the city.
Since the City Council has decided to hold only one business meeting a month, the agenda is long and currently packed with 49 items. Unless the process has changed, a couple of items will be added before Tuesday evening.
The first New Garden Road item on the agenda, is the New Garden Road Strategic Plan and if it passes as written neighborhoods on New Garden Road will receive power that other neighborhoods don’t have.
Much of the strategic plan is boilerplate about being pedestrian and bike friendly, having a sense of place and having sustainable growth but the strategic plan does have a zinger which changes the rezoning process for the New Garden Road area. It requires the City of Greensboro to advertise and hold a public hearing in conjunction with the rezoning applicant near the site of the rezoning request.
Neighborhoods in the New Garden Road corridor that have active neighborhood associations, get even more power and any rezoning request can be delayed for two months because in addition to the public hearing held by the city, the neighborhood association is asked for its input on the rezoning request and given 60 days to respond.
This is power that neighborhoods in the New Garden Road area that don’t have an active neighborhood association are not given and even active neighborhood associations in other parts of the city aren’t given the power to hold up a rezoning for two months while they think about it.
Although the Council meeting will likely be dominated by people from the New Garden Road area, it seems that neighborhood activists from other areas of the city might be interested in attending the meeting to ask why the city is going to expend additional funds one advertising and holding meetings for the people who live in the New Garden Road corridor that they will not spend for any other area.
The City Council often discusses treating everyone in the city equitably regardless of where they live and one would imagine that would include regardless of whether they live in a neighborhood with an active neighborhood association or not.
The other New Garden Road issue is a highly controversial rezoning request for 1302 New Garden Road from single family residential (R-3) to Conditional District – Office (CD-O).
A number of people from the Robin Ridge neighborhood spoke against the rezoning at the Zoning Commission meeting where the motion to deny the rezoning request passed by a 7-1 vote.
The Planning Department recommended in favor of the rezoning request.