The Greensboro Zoning Commission denied a request to rezone the block of residential property at Cornwallis and Lawndale that was previously discussed here, here, and here.
City zoning staff had recommended against the rezoning, saying (in part),
Though the proposal includes both residential and non-residential components it is unclear that these uses can be truly integrated either within the site or with the surrounding residential areas, which is a goal of mixed development. The Sketch Plan provided with this request notes a wall separating the drug store and associated townhomes as well as parking areas and a full point of access to the drug store directly adjacent to existing single family residences. Given the heavy concentration of commercial uses already present on Lawndale Drive and Battleground Avenue, and the location of this site at the edge of the larger Mixed Use Commercial area, new higher intensity commercial uses do not appear warranted. Rather residential development that provides transition between the solid commercial and established residential areas appears to be a better fit (emphasis mine).The developer will almost certainly appeal this decision to the City Council, where it will be heard on Dec. 18.
Staff comments make a lot of sense to me. It's interesting that the developer is proposing a "mixed use" that isn't really mixed -- the drugstore is separated from the residential unit by a huge wall. It reminds me of the "mixed use" designation for the Shops and Friendly, which, as many have noted, is really a couple of strip malls set back-to-back with some condos proposed for a back corner of the site.
A paradox of the area along Lawndale is that there's already a lot of nearby residential property, and a lot of adjacent commercial services, but it's almost impossible for residents to walk to the commercial services. I once watched in terror as a mother with a baby in a stroller tried to cross Lawndale to get to Target. She made it, but just barely.
This developer's proposal seems to be inimical to the very idea behind mixed use development -- that is, an improved urban environment with better pedestrian amenities.