Development Beat: Planning Commission Report

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Raleigh’s Planning Commission met for just over an hour last Tuesday to discuss four rezoning cases, one of them a mixed-use project on Hillsborough whose owner once again sought for the case to be deferred.

The meeting began with a period of public comment, during which Chuck Grantham, who owns a property on Hillsborough Street, spoke out regarding his concerns on the Hillsborough Street Redevelopment project. A subject that we will be covering in tomorrow’s Development Beat, by the way.

Grantham expressed considerable concern over the plan to replace the middle turn lane on Hillsborough with a raised pedestrian median, calling it a “bad decision” that did not take into account the density increase Hillsborough has undergone in the last several years.

“We’re suggesting that a 15 year-old traffic vision did not anticipate the unbelievable density,” said Grantham, who noted he was speaking on behalf of several business owners.

“It is our contention that the facts have dramatically changed on Hillsborough.”

New Business

Three new rezoning cases were on the agenda for the Planning Commissioner’s January 26 meeting. Notably, all three cases were listed on the agenda and presented in exact sequential order, something that brought true joy to my heart.

This looks like a video game map from the 1980s.

This looks like a video game map from the 1980s.

First up was Z-43-15, a request to rezone an 18.2 acre site on the south side of Tryon Road near the intersection with Dover Farm Road from R-1 to R-10, which would allow for higher-density residential development.

According to the zoning application, the property could be developed with a maximum of 109 residential units. The applicant, represented by attorney Mack Paul, requested that the case be deferred in order to allow them time to meet with the local Citizens Advisory Council.

The deferment was granted unanimously.

Next up was Z-44-15, a case we first wrote about back in December that involves the likely expansion of the Triangle Orthopaedics Surgery Center in Brier Creek.

Rezoning case Z-44-15 will rezone the property from CUD TD with Planned Development Overlay District to CX-7-CU.

According to the rezoning application:

“The proposed building expansion, when added to the existing office, commercial, and residential uses of the Alexander Place PDD and Brier Creek Development, creates a place where citizens can live, work and play with safe, accessible and functional buildings which are within walking distance of have their own distinctive identity, and many amenities.”

The Triangle Orhopaedic Surgery Center

The Triangle Orhopaedic Surgery Center

Some traffic issues with the site were discussed, and more analysis will be done at permitting time.

Ken Bowers noted that the UDO would impose certain caps on the amount of development at the site, and attorney Isabel Mattox, representing the applicant, said they understood they would need to apply for a new rezoning if they wanted to exceed those caps.

The case was unanimously recommended for approval by the Planning Commissioners.

The final new rezoning was Z-45-15, a housing development on Poole Road near Raleigh Boulevard. From the rezoning application: “The requested zoning district permits higher-density housing on a corridor served by transit.

The proposal also provides the opportunity for a local nonprofit housing developer to add affordable housing units for low-income, disabled, or homeless citizens. ” The maximum number of units allowed on the property is 101.

Planning Commissioners voted unanimously to defer the case.

Old Business

The final rezoning case discussed at last week’s Planning Commission meeting 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.

It had previously appeared before the Commission on January 12, when they agreed to defer it. At last week’s meeting, Commissioners once again voted unanimously to defer the case.

Planning Director Ken Bowers gave Planning Commissioners an update on recent City Council actions

City of Raleigh

Planning Director Ken Bowers gave Planning Commissioners an update on recent City Council actions

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: the closing of the public hearing for Z-15-15, the approval of  Z-38-15 on Shady Grove Road, the granting of a 60-day time extension for the long-gestating Z-34-13 and the referral of Z-39-15 to Council’s Growth & Natural Resources Committee.

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