Hillsborough Street student housing off the table; ‘Publix’ site public hearing delayed again | News
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hillsborough Street student housing off the table; ‘Publix’ site public hearing delayed again

Posted by on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 9:17 PM

Updated: Doug Hill from the City Planning Department said in an email Wednesday that the most recent conditions submitted for Z-1-14 are dated Feb. 5, 2015. The Planning Commission voted to recommend these conditions to the City Council Feb. 10. Under the UDO, all property owners must sign off on all conditions in the application 2 business days before City Council can schedule a public hearing on the rezoning case. Hill said no property owners have yet signed the Feb. 5 conditions. 

In a win for Raleigh’s University Park community, which came together to oppose rezoning for a five-story student housing project it felt was incompatible with the neighborhood, Raleigh's City Council denied the application and a new developer will submit a different design for the site.

Attorney Mack Paul told Raleigh’s City Council Tuesday that developer Cedar Fork Investments, LLC did not submit new conditions to a proposed building that would have been located on the north side of Hillsborough Street between Furches and Montgomery because they could not come up with a workable design under five stories high. The property owners will hire a different developer to submit a new rezoning application for a completely different design.

At a February public hearing, hundreds of neighbors attended to voice their concerns that the building would be too large in terms of mass and scale, would generate too much traffic and eat up parking space and would detract from the historic University Park neighborhood and the area’s natural amenities, cultural and community resources.

The project had been in the works for nearly a year and 500 residents signed a petition opposing it.

Meanwhile, North Raleigh residents are still waiting to have their say at a public hearing, before the fate of the tract of land at the intersection of Falls of Neuse and Dunn Roads, the former Publix grocery store site, is decided.

New conditions for a 29,000 foot grocery store with 58,000 square feet of space have been submitted for the site, and Council requested that a new traffic study be commissioned for the revised conditions. Council will set a date for a public hearing at its next meeting.

Planning Commission chair Steve Schuster called the case “the poster child example” of the frequent rezoning requests “pitting citizens in opposition to the Comprehensive Plan.” (The Commission found the rezoning compatible with the Comprehensive Plan and voted to recommend rezoning 8-1).

“The Comprehensive Plan calls for density, and there is broad support for high-density development until it is next to their house,” Schuster said.

In an email to the developer's attorney, Mack Paul, and Mayor Nancy McFarlane this weekend, resident David Cox, on behalf of the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners Associations, wrote to dispel rumors that homeowners don’t want any kind of development at the intersection of Dunn and Falls of Neuse.

“We want the land to be developed according to the current zoning which encompasses buffered commercial, residential and the Falls River Planned Development Districts which allows commercial retail development,” Cox wrote.

“We are troubled that these rumors persist and trust that everyone will, in the future, refrain from any statements that misconstrue our position. There are many ways that the property could be developed under the current zoning that could be a win-win for everyone.”

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