The Greensboro City Council this evening will consider whether to rezone four and half acres of the Glenwood neighborhood from RS-7 (single-family residential) to CD RM-18 (multifamily high-density residential).
If they do so, they will also have to amend the Comprehensive Plan's Generalized Future Land Use Map (GFLUM), which designates this area to remain low-density residential.
The city planning department has recommended in favor of both:
[The rezoning] meets Connections 2025 policies of promoting mixed income neighborhoods, promoting compact development, and promoting the diversification of new housing stock to meet the needs for suitable, affordable housing. However, there is a question about whether or not this proposed development will be compatible with its surroundings. The uses to the north, east and west of this site are single-family detached homes. The proposal is for multifamily dwellings that will be limited to two stories in height .... Staff has discussed, with the applicant, the possibility of increasing the landscape buffer (width and/or number of plantings) along the western line and reducing the density to try and make the development more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The applicantÃ’s attorney has indicated that added conditions would reduce the density to approximately 12 units per acre . . .However, city staff also admit that consequences of the rezoning and amendment of the Comp Plan could be bad:
This amendment may encourage other similar amendments in the vicinity as we have had a couple recent amendments in this area already.I've heard from some neighborhood residents who oppose the rezoning becausee of its incompatibility with the neighborhood character of Glenwood. As the Comp Plan itself says (p. 6-6)
. . . it is important that revitalization objectives be balanced with the need for neighborhood conservation. Infill development is not inherently "good" simply because it is infill and man, in fact, adversely affect the fabric of a neighborhood if the project is not compatible with its context. Rather, the successful infill project is one that complements and supports the character and appearance of the neighborhood that surrounds it.From what I have heard, the proposed development doesn't sound like it's particularly compatible with its surroundings; in fact, the fact that the developer is offering additional screening seems to be a de facto admission that what's being proposed is incompatible.
The city council has yet to turn down a developer's request to amend the GFLUM portion of the Comp Plan. I hope they will take a very hard look at what's being proposed here. And if they determine that it's incompatible, I hope they'll suck in their guts, gird their loins, and say, "Sorry. We believe in the Comp Plan we voted for. Please bring us a proposal that conforms to it."