Saturday, February 6, 2010

Greensboro Neighborhood Congress Has Issues with the New Land Development Ordinance Rewrite for Greensboro

Neighborhood Congress on LDO for City of Greensboro

The Greensboro Neighborhood Congress has sent out issues they have with the new Land Development Ordinance rewrite for the City of Greensboro. Above is the document to share with your council members and below is the same with the email sent out to all in the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress.

The public hearing for the Land Development Ordinance Rewrite will be held on February 9 at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers. We encourage all neighborhood leaders and all residents to attend. By now, each of you should have received your rezoning notice that is part of this rewrite. Below are the concerns that the Issues Committee of the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress have identified that we will be addressing at the hearing. These items will affect you and your neighborhood. You may have others that we have not identified. The rewrite is huge - too large for us as volunteers to cut through item by item, so there will undoubtedly be surprises in implementation.

We hope to be able to support the rewrite once we learn more but will have to address this in a full Congress meeting before we take a position. Please attend the hearing, provide your input, learn what you can and we'll discuss this again in our February 11 meeting.

This is very Important, please read the following.

Land Development Ordinance (LDO)-Related Matters of Concern to GNC Issues & Bylaws Committee
(based on Input from Committee members’ neighbors and neighborhood organizations)

February 3, 2010

1. While we recognize the importance of infill development, there is good infill and bad infill, and bad infill can destabilize existing neighborhoods and deteriorate property values. To the extent that the LDO would allow for denser infill development in existing neighborhoods, but does not provide safeguards to ensure that the increasingly dense infill is not detrimental, that is a matter of concern. In particular:

A. The proposed LDO allows a greater maximum density for multifamily (RM-40), which could have an impact on existing neighborhoods with fringe areas susceptible to apartment complex development. This is of particular concern to neighborhoods near educational institutions, where the construction of increasingly dense student apartment housing is an issue. In existing neighborhoods, such dense developments are likely to cause potential traffic, noise, parking, sanitation, and architectural compatibility issues. If such a new category of ultra-dense development (50% more dense that the existing limit, RM-26) is to be allowed, stringent development standards need to also be created to regulate it.

B. The proposed LDO allows for corner lots on thoroughfares to be developed to contain two homes (“twin homes”) in single-family zoned areas, but does not require such denser new construction to be compatible with surrounding detached single-family residences. We expect homeowners in established single-family neighborhoods to be dismayed when the corner lot near them suddenly becomes the site of not one, but two new homes, particularly if their appearance and construction is not at all compatible with the adjacent existing homes.

2. The LDO does not require developers to meet with neighborhood groups before proceeding with a rezoning, and GNC’s longstanding position is that such meetings should be mandatory. GNC appreciates that the LDO encourages such meetings and requires reporting concerning them, but this stops short of requiring that the meetings occur. We request that the proposed procedures suggested by the Planning Department concerning the information that a developer must report concerning such meetings (see attached) be incorporated directly into the LDO to ensure that those procedures are implemented.

3. Many neighbors are concerned about the LDO now that they have received letters in the mail from the City advising them about the proposed changes. Public understanding of the implications of the changes is limited, and we have anectdotal reports of inconsistent information being given to neighbors when they inquire to City staff concerning the changes. We believe that further communication should be encouraged before any changes are made to ensure that citizens are as well educated as possible concerning the impact of the changes.


If you ever want to see a lot of the back and forth on Item #2 above you might want to see the biggest commenting post ever at Triadwatch with a title back in July of 2009 titled "Greensboro Neighbors Will Not Get A Fair Shake In The Zoning Process, Thanks to TREBIC", CLICKHERE . The TREBIC Trolls were out big time on that post .TREBIC is the local special interest group for the development industry. Now with all the comments and hearing that the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress is now on board with the same issue Triadwatch brought up last summer, let's see if the City of Greensboro will make it a requirement to meet with the neighbors or will it be business as usual for TREBIC.

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1 comment:

Bob said...

Developers should willing to meet with the neighbors and planning staff to answer questions and hear their concerns. This is simply a common courtesy.