The Greensboro Zoning Commission held its first virtual meeting on Monday, April 20.

It was historic, not only because it was the first virtual meeting of the Zoning Commission, but also because it is believed to be the first time a dog has voted at a meeting of a Greensboro board or commission.

When announcing the vote to rezone 9032 W. Market St. from Single-Family Residential-3 (R-3) to Conditional District Light Industrial (CD-LI) Zoning Commission Chair Adam Marshall said, “ I have seven in favor, plus my dog.”

The zoning commissioners had all voted by pressing the “raise hand” feature on Zoom and Marshall’s dog by barking in the affirmative.

Zoning Commissioner Zac Engle’s dog also made a brief screen appearance but evidently was not interested in voting.

The seven zoning commissioners who participated in the meeting were Hugh Holston, Ray Trapp, Vernal Alford, James Rosa, Sandra O’Connor, Marshall and Engle.

The request that garnered the most discussion was to rezone 12.6 acres at 2222 Wilcox Dr. from R-3 to Conditional District–Residential Single-Family-7 (CD-R-7) from the Keystone Group.

There was a request from an opponent to continue this item but that was denied.

The Zoning Commission voted 4-3 to rezone the property, which means it will go to the City Council with a favorable recommendation.

Judy Stadler, representing the Keystone Group, noted that the condition was that no more than 52 houses be built in the development, which came out to 4.1 houses per acre – about one more house per acre higher than the current R-3 zoning.

Dustin Brand at 2221 Wllcox Dr. spoke against the rezoning request and said that many of his neighbors were also opposed but were older and were unable to participate in an online meeting. He said the concerns of the neighborhood were the increased traffic and that having a high-density development would lower the property values in the area.

Several people also said they were not opposed but would like to see a fence built down the property line to keep young people out of the woods.

Both Engle and Holston expressed concern about the density.

The Zoning Commission also voted 7-0 to recommend that 193 acres along I-85 on Youngs Mill Road and Presbyterian Road be rezoned from Guilford County Agricultural (AG) to Conditional District-Heavy Industrial (CD-HI) for Williams Development Group.

Since the land will first have to be annexed by Greensboro, it has to go to the City Council for approval.

Attorney Tom Terrell, representing Williams Development, noted that the preliminary plans called for constructing 2 million square feet of industrial space on the site.