GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Greensboro has confirmed that a zoning request for a proposed development on Friendly Avenue has been withdrawn.
Neighbors tell FOX8, this is a small victory in their fight, but the entire battle is far from over. “We want to keep the momentum going, we want to keep the community engaged,” said Nicky Smith who is helping lead the group of hundreds of neighbors fighting the re-zoning along Friendly Avenue. “We were appalled, we were just outraged that someone would want to put an apartment complex right in the middle of beautiful homes on friendly avenue and disrupt the charm that we have in this community,” Smith said.
On Friday, the group heard from their attorney, the request to rezone from single-family to residential multi-family zoning, was withdrawn. Hours later, the city removed the zoning sign from the property. “We were somewhat excited at first but as soon as we started looking at the details, we know he plans to file another petition or another zoning ordinance for something else,” Smith said.
They feel the developer has heard their concerns, loud and clear. “There is no question about that,” Smith added. The group is open to other types of developments coming to the property. “We would like to keep this community a single family housing, we are somewhat open to some variation of that, is it apartment complexes, no, absolutely not,” Smith added.
The developer, CZS Development Company, LLC, aimed to construct “high-density luxury townhomes” along the 4000 block of West Friendly Avenue.
However, the project faced overwhelming opposition from local residents, who expressed concerns about safety, affordability and compatibility with the neighborhood.
“People chose to move into this neighborhood because they were seeking single-family homes that provide more space and privacy,” said Andrew Aronson, a neighbor.
“It’s their land, and I understand that, but it’s just not fitting with the neighborhood,” said Leslie Mackler, another resident.
The development site encompasses three tracts of land totaling roughly 4 acres. CZS sought rezoning approval in order to create a “luxury townhome community” comprising thirteen multi-unit townhomes. Each would have had two accomodating units.
“Turning it into something where you’re going in, and you’re putting in 26 homes where there used to be three? That’s going to have a ripple effect,” said Art Close, a neighbor.
Traffic congestion and safety also emerged as major issues of contention. Community members have expressed concern that the development may divert increased traffic to residential areas on Kemp Road.
Additionally, residents worried about potential safety risks associated with the anticipated increase in congestion and reduced visibility along Friendly Avenue.
Despite the diverse range of concerns raised by residents, there is a unified belief that the proposed project is fundamentally wrong for their community.
It seems like this project is solely driven by profit motives without any genuine consideration for the well-being of our neighborhood,” Aronson said.
Initially, the issues were going to be discussed at an Aug. 21 Zoning Board meeting where the rezoning application for the site would have been presented. However, since the proposal has been withdrawn, the discussion is no longer necessary.
No matter what the future holds for this roughly four-acre plot of land, this group of neighbors wants to be involved. FOX8 reached out to the developer, CZS, to hear what their plans are moving forward but they have not responded to our request.