Greensboro neighbors fight rezoning of Fisher Park

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — People like their neighborhood for many reasons: convenience, the schools and peace and quiet. 

In historic Fisher Park, people are taking a stand to keep a home from changing into commercial space.

There’s a house on Leftwich Street where one man is hoping to change his home and workspace into just a law office.

It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but others in the neighborhood have posted signs on the streets that say “Protect Fisher Park – Oppose Rezoning.” 

Cheryl Pratt walked door to door in Fisher Park Friday afternoon with a petition and a purpose.

“You’ve gone from a neighborhood with children playing in the streets to a commercial office setting. We don’t want to see that,” she explained.

She’s one of many in the neighborhood, trying to fight back against the rezoning. 

“Additional traffic created by a commercial venture or business is just not appropriate in this residential neighborhood,” added Thomas Hyde, another neighbor.

Steve Robertson has lived in his home on Lefwich Street for four years. He’s made his home his law office for the past two years. 

He now wants to move out and make the building just his office.

That means he needs to change the zoning from residential to commercial-office.

“Being in the community is important to me, and I love Fisher Park, and I don’t want to do anything to disrupt the look or feel of Fisher Park. I don’t think I am,” Robertson said. 

He knows his neighbors are concerned about parking. He said there would be no more than five people in the office at a time.

In Robertson’s eyes, this wouldn’t change anything. 

“It’s conditional. The only purpose for which that house can be used are as a law office or a residence. That’s it,” he explained. 

Other neighbors don’t see it that way.

“Once this opens up, it opens it up to absolutely anybody in the neighborhood. The city sets the precedence,” Sue Hunt said. 

She and her husband Jim Halsch are heads of the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association.

They’re worried this could happen in other Greensboro neighborhoods.

“It doesn’t just affect Fisher Park. It affects New Irving Park…t affects every other neighborhood,” Halsch said. “Someone could go in, take their home and could make it zoned commercial, and the neighbors don’t have anything to say about it.”

The Greensboro Zoning Commission has a meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. 

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