Rezoning Case Approval Makes Way for Grocery Store

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At its public hearing session on Tuesday night, the city council of Raleigh approved a rezoning to make way for a grocery store on Falls of Neuse Road.

The rezoning case — Z-2-15 — concerned a 6.95 acre parcel that was zoned office and institution. The proposed rezoning was to neighborhood mixed use with a three story height cap. The planning commission recommended approval of the rezoning by 5-3 and the local Citizens Advisory Council voted 17-0 in favor of the rezoning.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 10.07.38 PMAfter the CAC vote, members of a nearby neighborhood filed a valid statutory protest petition on the rezoning case, with their main concerns being the increased traffic, noise and smells from the possible restaurants that would be developed.

Members of the planning commission who voted against the rezoning did not see the possible development as in the public’s interest. As was stated in the planning commission meeting, members of the neighborhood who had filed the VSPP stated that there were numerous grocery stores and shopping centers already in the area, some within walking distance.

Opposition Focuses on Impacts of Proposed Grocery Store

Tom Worth, attorney, represented the applicants. His presentation focused almost exclusively on the conditions that the applicants had applied to the case after discussions with the neighbors. These conditions included stormwater management, evergreen buffering between the development and the neighborhoods, and a masonry wall that would shield the neighborhoods from the site of the load dock for delivery trucks.

Members of the Woodstone neighborhood spoke out in opposition. They stated that the development would back up to their neighborhood, causing impacts such as noise and smell. They also stated that their road was already being used for cut-thru traffic, and that this would increase due to the proposed development.

“How would you like a grocery store in your backyard? That’s going to happen to me,” neighborhood resident Charlie Smith said.

In their rebuttal, Worth said that they had worked to mitigate impacts through the conditions applied to the rezoning case. He reemphasized those conditions and said that they had worked very hard to make this a transparent process where neighborhood input was valued.

Councilor Discussion Focuses on Traffic Impact

When the public hearing was closed and the time was brought back for discussion, councilors focused their attention on the traffic issues, asking Todd Delk from the transportation department to breakdown the traffic analysis in the case. He stated that the traffic caused by the shopping center would actually be less than the traffic caused by an office building being developed within the current zoning.

Worth added that part of the conditions stipulated that an extra left-hand turn lane would be added to mitigate the traffic impacts caused by the development. The applicant in the case was then given additional time to add more information about the development.

A Google Earth Streetview image of traffic near the intersection where the project is being planned

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A Google Earth Streetview image of traffic near the intersection where the project is being planned

Councilor Baldwin wanted to send the item to the comprehensive planning committee but councilor Maiorano, who is the elected official of the district where the development were to occur, said that he saw no reason to prolong the case, as the applicant and CAC vote showed that the community was willing to do this.

The case was approved by a 6-2 vote, with councilors Crowder and Stephenson dissenting.

5 thoughts on “Rezoning Case Approval Makes Way for Grocery Store

  1. I have no objection about the build occurring at the corner of Litchford and Falls of Neuse (for small retailers), but the walking access to these commercial properties could be helped by building sidewalks on Litchford from the neighborhoods in walking distance. I’ve feared for my life when attempting to walk to Starbucks. Please consider adding a sidewalk. When is the next council meeting on this subject?

    Thanks,
    Terri RaFalik
    trafalik@nc.rr.com

  2. We already have a hard time trying to get out of Alyson Pond on Litchford Rd. The speed limit is too high especially coming around the corner before Durannt sub. A traffic light needs to be installed at Alyson Pond since Coxindale across the street is a thru way to Falls of Neuse

  3. I have a shopping mall in my back yard. it’s very convenient for me. save on gas and time.
    The noise is less than 540

  4. These new shopping centers would have less negative impact if we required more efficient development. The market is most definitely sending signals that these new grocery stores are viable along with continued increases in population. Creating walkable, connected, mixed-use development would have a much better impact on the quality of life in these neighborhoods. Within a relatively short radius, there are a number professional and medical offices, retail, restaurants, apartments, and single family residences. Much of these uses require driving and huge amounts of parking. I think we should welcome the development, but we must be smarter about it.

  5. I believe before you start developing any more, you need to listen to the neighbors in making Litchford a safer road. I’m not sure why you would raise the speed limit from 40 mph to 45 mph right before the shopping center on the corner of Litchford and Harps Mill. I agree with Brenda Rowland and add additional traffic lights either at Coxindale or Scouting Trail. Once school starts all the young drivers and parents are taking Litchford Road south to Millbrook High School. Coming north you have folks cutting through to get to I-540. There is no courtesy in allowing folks out of the neighborhoods or even allowing folks to cross the street. I just hope something changes before a major accident occurs.