North Raleigh News

North Raleigh residents oppose rezoning plan

Some North Raleigh residents are unhappy about a proposal that would allow homes in an area they thought would become an office park on Creedmoor Road.

Neighbors are concerned a residential project would bring traffic through narrow streets, Ben Kuhn, an attorney representing a group of residents, told the Raleigh City Council earlier this month.

A property owner wants the city to rezone 6.7 acres of land to make way for future development. The land is currently zoned for office and industrial use. The request is for office and mixed use, which could include residential.

“We agree with the current zoning, and we would welcome office development as it is,” said Wray Gillette, who has lived in the area since 1993. “We’re not anti-development.”

Residents hired Kuhn after the property owner presented the project to the area’s citizens advisory committee. Some said they anticipated confusion as the rezoning request moves through city hall at the same time the city is updating its land-use maps.

The city council sent the proposal back to planning staff to determine if they could give the property owner leeway in how the future project would connect to existing streets.

Attorney Isabel Mattox, who is representing the property owner, said it’s unclear how the roads would have to connect.

A design alternative would allow the development to continue while finding a way to keep traffic off residential streets.

In the most recent proposal, “access could solely be through single family neighborhoods,” according to a city report.

The rezoning application doesn’t provide for any public road connection to Creedmoor Road, the nearest major road.

Most neighbors figured that an office development would move most traffic to Creedmoor Road, Gillette said.

The area is outside Raleigh city limits but within its planning jurisdiction. The state maintains the roads.

Kuhn told the city council that the roads in the neighborhood are in poor condition.

“It would be a hazard to have the additional traffic generated by what we’ve been told would be high-density condo structures,” Gillette said.

Mattox said it’s too soon to know what could be developed at the site if the rezoning is approved. It could be residential only, a mix of residential and commercial or a mix of offices and commercial.

“We’re proposing an either-or situation,” she sad.

Residents in the area also pushed back against a rezoning request in 1999. That request was approved with residents’ suggested conditions, making way for office and industrial use.

Hankerson: 919-829-4802;

Twitter: @mechelleh