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Greensboro City Council approves Friendly-Hobbs rezoning

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro City Council on Tuesday night voted 7-2 to rezone a little more than 6 acres of land to make way for development at the corner of Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road.

The vote went against a vocal citizens group opposed to the project who had hoped public sentiment against the project would convince the city council to keep the area zoned as a residential use only.

A spokesman for the Friendly Coalition told city council the group opposed allowing developers to bring new business in because more shops weren’t being asked for by the people. They cited empty stores in the Friendly Center and the abundance of grocery stores in the area.

The city council said this idea for retail stores and townhomes on the property was well developed and scaled back from original estimates of up to 60,000 square feet of space for businesses to 48,500 square feet.

The developer also agreed to restrictions on hours of operations for potential restaurants and business deliveries. There is also a long list of businesses now allowed to operate in the retail portion of the business including day cares, tattoo shops, ABC stores and brew pubs.

“If we turn away from compromise like this we’re basically closing the door to business,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who called rezoning the land a hard decision.

City Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman said the city council demanded a lot from the developer to make the retail-townhome community something special and not just another development.

Marikay Abuzuaiter and Tony Wilkins opposed the rezoning request.