At the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, August 17 meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve new zoning that allows mixed use – likely to become office space – for 4 acres of land at 5805 N. Church St. in Greensboro.

That’s something that some residents in that area opposed – and they let the commissioners know about their feelings at the meeting.

The Planning Board had voted 4-to-4 regarding the proposed rezoning on Wednesday, May 10, a tie vote on the planning board (as on the Board of Commissioners) equates to a “no” vote.  So, in reality, the Planning Board had turned down the landowners’ request, and the Board of Commissioners August 17 public hearing and vote was in response to an appeal on that “no” vote by the lower board.

Twelve days after the Planning Board rejected the rezoning earlier this year, the property owner filed an appeal with the Guilford County Clerk to the Board.

Specifically, the owners had been requesting – an ultimately got – a  land use reclassification from Agricultural Rural/Residential zoning to a Conditional Mixed Use rezoning.

The Conditional Mixed Use rezoning ultimately approved came with a long list of conditions – including uses that wouldn’t be allowed.  For instance, the land still can’t be used as a nursing home, a frat house, a heliport or a landfill – among many other forbidden uses.

The arguments presented in the August 17 Board of Commissioners meeting were typical of those heard in rezoning cases as Guilford County continues to become less rural and more developed. Area residents have concerns about traffic, noise and an increase in undesirable activity – while those seeking the rezoning argue that, as property owners, they have a right to the “highest use” of their land.

They also in this case argued to residents that, if this was not approved, something worse may come along in the future.

The Proposed “MXU”, or “Mixed Use” zoning is intended for a “mix of high-intensity residential, retail, and commercial uses compatible with adjacent development.”

County planning staff found earlier this year that the requested Conditional Mixed Use zoning was “reasonable and in the public interest” – largely because the land is within a quarter mile of the existing North Church Street and NC 150 commercial node.

In addition to along list of certain banned uses, restrictions on this Mixed Use approval state that building height for any structure used for a non-residential use cannot exceed 30 feet.