Planning Commission Approves Gibbons Expansion

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Cardinal Gibbons High School could soon be expanded. The Raleigh Planning Commission recently approved the school’s expansion site plan, along with several other rezoning and site plan items during its meeting Tuesday. The decisions will go to the City Council Dec. 6 for final approval.

Cardinal Gibbons High School (SP-31-11)
The Planning Commission approved the Cardinal Gibbons High School expansion site plan. The plan calls for adding about 67,000 square feet to the existing 137,000 square-foot-school.

The expansion includes a two-story classroom wing and a two-story arts and athletic wing along with adjustments to internal streets to ease student pick up and drop off. School officials said that there are no plans to increase enrollment.

Poyner Place Retail (SP-38-11)
Commissioners also approved the site plan for a 63,000-square-foot shopping center at Sumner Boulevard near Triangle Town Boulevard. The shopping center is the future home of a Babies R Us.

In response to some comments by the Appearance Commission, the developer varied the color scheme and created a space for public art. While the Planning Commission can’t force the property owner to put public art on the large wall facing the street, commissioners strongly encouraged it.

The Greens at Centennial Campus (GH-6-11)
Plans were approved for a residential apartment community on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.

The complex will consist of three buildings for a total of about 300 apartment units. The 10-acre property is between Achievement and Centennial Campus Drives. The apartments will be priced at market rates and not meant for student housing.

Because the project is on NCSU’s campus, it was first approved by the university before heading to the Planning Commission.

Rock Quarry Road (Z-17-11)
The Planning Commission approved a rezoning application for property along Rock Quarry Road near the intersection of Battle Bridge Road.

The 8.5-acre property is now zoned Residential-4, which allows four living units per acre. The property owners want to rezone about five acres of that of the property into Residential-10, or 10 living units per acre. They would like to rezone the other three acres as Neighborhood Business Conditional Use. Representatives of the property owners said they want to open small family-owned businesses on the property.

Because the property is zoned Moderate Density Residential (6 to 14 units per acre) on the Future Land Use Map, the commercial rezoning is inconsistent with the 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

The residential use for the property will be limited to single-family homes, and certain uses for the commercial space would be prohibited. The height of the commercial buildings will be limited to three stories and space is limited to 8,000 square feet.

Six Forks Road (Z-18-11)
After some debate about traffic impacts, the Planning Commission voted in favor of rezoning a 10-acre piece of property on Six Forks Road just south of Strickland Road.

The property was zoned as Residential-4, or four living units per acre, but the commission approved rezoning it to Office and Institution-1, which would allow an office building on the property.

The property owner intends to build three- to four-story buildings, including residential apartments.

Sara Arters, a resident representing the Chadwick Homeowners Association directly across from the property, said the neighbors still oppose the height of the buildings and believe that all should be restricted to two stories.

She also said the new development would create more traffic than projected, especially vehicles passing through.

Commissioner Peter Bachelor said he believed there was a scale issue at hand and that approving this case would set a precedent for similar cases along Six Forks Road. He said that the proposed building height is incompatible with the surrounding area.

Ultimately, the application passed 6 to 1.


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