The rezoning request to build 380 apartments on Horse Pen Creek Road from Keystone Development, is what filled the Greensboro City Council Chambers on Tuesday night.
But the action that is likely to cause more repercussions at future City Council meetings was almost an aside at the very end of the meeting. There wasn’t a single person in the audience when Councilmember Goldie Wells made a motion to remove Irving Allen and Cherizar Crippen from the Greensboro Criminal Justice Advisory Commission (GCJAC) and the Police Community Review Board (PCRB).
Councilmember Sharon Hightower apparently questioned Wells’ right to have the two removed, but Hightower didn’t turn her microphone on, so only her fellow councilmembers know what she said.
Wells had said, “I’d like to take Irving Allen and Cherizar Crippen off the Criminal Justice Advisory Commission and the PCRB.”
When questioned about it Wells said, “I’m not sure but I think any councilmember should be able to take someone off and it’s for reasons.”
Mayor Nancy Vaughan who seconded Wells’ motion said, “They haven’t attended the trainings.” Vaughan later explained that Crippen had only attended one of four training sessions.
In reply to more unintelligible questions from Hightower, Wells said, “It’s for reasons. Please accept my explanation. It’s for reasons.”
Allen and Crippen were removed from GCJAC by a 7-2 vote of the City Council with Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson and Hightower voting no. As members of GCJAC they were alternates for the PCRB but not actual members of the PCRB.
These two members of GCJAC had been discussed at the City Council work session in the Plaza Level Conference Room before the regular meeting. Allen had been invited to that work session on GCJAC but did not attend.
At that work session it was noted that Allen and Crippen were refusing to sign confidentiality agreements. Since members of GCJAC and the PCRB are allowed to examine confidential police personnel files, they are required to sign confidentiality agreements.
Allen had been on the executive committee that came up with not just the idea of GCJAC but also the plan on how to implement it. Removing Allen from GCJAC which he helped found will not go unnoticed.
As far as Horse Pen Creek Road goes, the rezoning passed on an 8-1 vote with Hightower voting no, as she does for almost every rezoning request. The big issues brought up by the opposition seemed to be traffic and that the population density didn’t fit in with the neighborhood.
The city is currently spending about $30 million to widen Horse Pen Creek Road from two lanes to four and five lanes with a median. The idea that the city would spend that kind of money to widen the road and not allow new development on it, doesn’t make much sense.
Since the City Council is committed to increasing the population density of Greensboro, arguing too much density didn’t hold much water, either.
Scott Wallace president of the Keystone Group said it was about a $50 million project and they hoped to have it completed in 2021.