Possible Publix Property Can Move Foward with Rezoning Application

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Owners of a North Raleigh property will be allowed to move forward with an application to remove the 8-acre lot from the existing master plan.

Raleigh Planning Commissioners Tuesday were tasked with deciding if the property owner, Morgan Property Group, met all the necessary requirements to begin the master plan termination process. Terminating a property means removing it from the developer’s previously approved plan for the area.

Although Commissions approved starting the termination process, they stressed that the property owner will have a long rezoning fight ahead.

The master plan covers about 1,100 acres near Falls of Neuse Road and was established in 1994. Most of the property is already developed as high-end single family homes.

The 8-acre property near Falls of Neuse Road and Whittington Drive hasn’t been developed, and, according to the plan, is scheduled for light retail and office space.

The News and Observer reported Monday that the site may be the site for a Publix grocery store.

Many of the residents in attendance at Tuesday’s Commission meeting took exception to the potential rezoning of the property for the purpose of a grocery store.

Resident Stacy Cashin, who lives on Golden Sun Drive, said she wants the developer to provide the market data that showed there was a desire for a Publix in an area that already has five grocery stores within four miles.

Residents observed that a shuttered Kroger remains vacant nearby.

Commissioners agreed that there is strong opposition from the neighborhood, but felt that the application met the requirements to begin the process.

Commissioner Steven Schuster said that the Commission may be allowing the process to start today, but that, “doesn’t mean the Commission is committing to remove this from the master plan.”

Commissioner Joe Lyle echoed Schuster’s statements.

“This is going to be a difficult rezoning,” he said.

Morgan Property Group representatives will return to Planning Commissioners to request the property be officially removed from the existing master plan and request a site rezoning.

Rock Quarry Road Rezoning Moved Ahead
After a two-week delay, a rezoning for a mixed-use project on Rock Quarry Road has been forwarded to the City Council.

The request is to rezone an 8-acre property on Rock Quarry Road, just east of Barwell and Pearl roads. If approved, the proposed rezoning will allow for more intense development and up to 4,000 square feet of retail space.

The Rock Quarry Road corridor is designated as one of Raleigh’s transit corridors.

Commissioners previously delayed a vote on the general use case because there was no way to guarantee that a transit easement would be provided, something they felt necessary in a transit corridor.

A conditional use designation would allow Commissioners to make providing a transit easement a condition of approval. General use cases cannot require any conditions.

The city’s new zoning code, the Unified Development Ordinance, moves away from conditional-use zoning, which requires applicants to add conditions that would minimize the impacts of the rezoning.

The case will be heard by the full City Council at its next meeting in December.

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