Oberlin Road Rezoning Approved

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A controversial rezoning application that could bring more traffic to a street in an area of the city that is becoming more urban.

Raleigh City Councilors Tuesday unanimously approved the rezoning of a half-acre property on Oberlin Road and Van Dyke Avenue near Cameron Village.

Councilors Bonner Gaylord and Thomas Crowder were absent and excused.

Neighbor opposition to the project stems from a possible driveway on Van Dyke Avenue. The street’s residents are concerned about the possibility of increased traffic and risks to pedestrians.

“The neighbors are very concerned about access on Van Dyke,” said homeowner Laurie Hall said.

According to city code, the developer can put a driveway on Van Dyke Avenue 300 feet from the corner of Oberlin Road. Residents wanted Councilors and city staff to prohibit this driveway, but they have no legal authority to do so.

It is possible that a driveway on Van Dyke Avenue won’t be necessary, which will be determined when the developer goes to site plan review.

Located northeast of Cameron Village, the property was rezoned in order to establish a more urban look and feel in the area.  The new zoning will require that buildings be placed closer to the street, creating a more walkable, city-like environment. This was not possible under the old zoning.

The residential and office density won’t change much, but some retail will be allowed if certain standards are met. For example, the retail must be located within the office building and may not exceed 4,000 square feet. There are also restrictions on the hours the retail may operate.

“A stand-alone retail building is not permitted within the OX [Office Mixed Use] district,” said Planning Administrator Travis Crane.

Public Hearing Changes
Tuesday’s evening session was the first set of public hearings for rezoning cases under the Unified Development Ordinance.

Under the city’s new zoning code, rezoning cases are heard by the public and the full Council after they have been reviewed by the Planning Commission. After the public hearing, Councilors can decide to approve or deny the rezoning.

Councilors can also send the application to committee for more discussion or hold it at the table for more information.

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