The Planning Commission met Tuesday to discuss rezoning cases, text changes, and the 2015 Annual Progress Report on the 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
The progress report detailed city council action on rezoning cases and text changes. Of the 23 rezoning cases that city council took action on, 20 were approved while three were denied. Five text changes were also sent to city council for review, with three approved and two pending
Planning Commission chairperson Steven Schuster noted that many of the rezoning cases brought added density to neighborhoods, which caused tension within the community.
“It’s probably time to re-engage the public in that conversation,” Schuster said.
A public hearing was held to vote on a proposed Hyatt House Hotel on 10030 Sellona Street in Brier Creek. The hotel, which would be around 90,000 square feet and stand six stories tall, would be built on a 3.54 acre parcel of land. It was unanimously recommended for approval.
Kimberley Development Group requested the rezoning of a 2.14 acre property on Oberlin Road. The proposed rezoning would increase residential density. Staff found the rezoning to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map.
Michael Birch, a lawyer representing Kimberley Development Group, addressed some of the concerns of the commission members. He said there would be connectivity through a local right-of-way and a minimum setback to preserve the prominence of the Turner House, which is a historic landmark.
Don Davis from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission said he did not support the rezoning, but if it were to go forward, he would approve the revisions made in the latest version of the plans.
The Planning Commission voted to defer the item until the applicant could add more conditions.
Three text changes were voted on, two concerning signage and one increasing the maximum allowed amount of colors of a sign to nine. They were all approved unanimously.
A rezoning case on Creedmoor Road proposed to add more residential density, retail intensity, and office intensity to a 1.64 parcel of land. Staff found the proposed rezoning to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map.
The applicant said he did not see building single family homes on this property as a good idea. Possible buildings on the site include a modest scale office building or a daycare. Commission member Adam Terando talked about the possibility of building a transit shelter at the location.
David Eatman from Public Works spoke to this issue, saying, “The easement means that at some point we can install a shelter there.”
The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the project, contingent on a Citizens Advisory Committee vote and a discussion about transit services.
Two rezoning cases on Hillsborough Street near Morgan Street were approved that will add 20-story buildings, increasing residential density and slightly increasing retail and office intensity. Most of the commission members were in favor, stating that if there were a place to build a 20-story building, it would be in downtown Raleigh.
A presentation at a local Citizens Advisory Council meeting in January resulted in those neighbors voting against the project.
“Height by itself is not a bad thing,” Schuster said. “It’s what you do with it.”
Commission member Rodney Swink was the lone dissenter, voting ‘no’ to both cases.