Monday, January 18, 2016
When this column published once a week, it also included coverage of the City’s most recent Planning Commission meeting. Eventually we moved to separate coverage of these meetings, but without a city hall reporter on staff anymore, Planning Commission coverage once again falls to the Development Beat.
Of course, condensing a two-hour meeting into 500 words or so might prove to be a little tricky, so this might run a little long and a lot boring.
The Planning Commission met most recently on January 12 at 9 a.m. in the City Council Chambers on West Hargett Street. There were four new business items on the agenda: two site plans, a rezoning case and a text change.
The first case was SP-51-14, a Holiday Inn Express planned for a 3.98 acre site at 10450 Little Brier Creek Lane. The 68,176 square-foot hotel would, according to site plan documents, house 112 rooms. It will not have a restaurant.
David Winburn spoke on behalf of the developer. He noted that 1.2 acres of the site would remain undisturbed, and that some of the floodplain would be left intact while stormwater would be collected near the front of the site.
The case was recommended unanimously for approval on the condition that some of the parking spaces on the site be relocated from the Northwest corner to the Southeast.
The next site plan, SP-72-15, was for a Handee Hugo on Globe Road, located between Aviation Parkway and Brier Creek Parkway. The 1.71 acre site is located within 400 feet of a residential zone, and would be developed with a 4,750 square foot convenience store with four gas islands and a canopy.
The impervious surface area will take up less than 50 percent of the site.
Although the case received approval from the local Citizens Advisory Council, the owners of a nearby day care center spoke in opposition to the development. They were concerned about the additional pedestrian and vehicular traffic, along with the proximity to their business of a store that would sell alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets.
Planning Commissioners once again voted unanimously to recommend approval of the case.
The new rezoning case was Z-41-15, which would rezone a portion of the 3100 block of Hillsborough Street to allow for a five-story neighborhood mixed-use redevelopment. The developer last week asked Commissioners to defer the case, which they agreed unanimously to do.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to recommend approval of a text change to the Unified Development Ordinance that would define story height measurements as the “top of the finished floor to bottom of the floor above” instead of the current “top of the finished floor to the ceiling above.” Staff initiated this change with the belief that the new language would more accurately reflect the intent of the code.
Once the new business was complete, commissioners moved onto old items, two rezoning cases that had been presented at previous meetings. The first was Z-34-13, a case concerning a 6.4 acre property currently zoned both residential-10 and residential-4. The applicant wants to rezone the property to residential-10 to allow for a townhome development.
Several neighbors spoke out in opposition, expressing concerns over increased traffic and the potential for flooding. Planning Commissioners voted 9-1 to grant the applicant a 60-day extension. Commissioner Rodney Swink voted against the extension.
Next up was Z-39-15, a rezoning case on Trailwood Drive in West Raleigh. The rezoning would allow for a 78-unit apartment complex on the 1800 block of Trailwood Drive.
Local resident Gerry Luginbuhl spoke out against the development, saying it was out of character with the existing neighborhood. While Luginbuhl said he’s not opposed to development in general, he does not like this specific project and would like to meet again with the developer.
Planning Commissioners voted 7-3 to recommend approval of the rezoning. Commissioners Veronica Alcine, Joseph Lyle and Adam Terando were the three dissenting votes.
The meeting wrapped up with a report from City Planning Director Ken Bowers, who updated Commissioners on actions taken by City Council on various planning cases. These included: a public hearing scheduled for January 19 on Z-15-15 on Spring Forest, the approval of Z-22-14 on Creedmoor, the denial of Z-34-15 on Oakland Drive and the denial of Z-35-15 on Six Forks, the scheduling of a public hearing for the Hold Ridge Subdivision and Sycamore Run Apartments, the annexation of Linville Ridge/Shady Grove and Children’s Lighthouse, and the public hearing for Z-38-15, which closed with the condition that the applicant limit the number of units on the property to 57.
For more coverage of City Council action on planning cases, be sure to check out our Agenda Preview and Council Record coverage.