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Old 03-29-2017, 08:06 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,007,124 times
Reputation: 367

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Getting feisty at the city council!! See kids, this is how we resolved disputes before facebook & the internet! Letters to the editor!! I like it. Old School!


Honestly, I don't see why these developers here are still pushing apartments as "student housing" anymore. There are plenty of apartments that are "market rate" in the city that students are renting in. North Campus crossing stopped caring and was sold and changed management, which turned conditions there even worse until they went into foreclosure . I think that development just never took off over there. Once the gas station & Bojangles got built, I thought a grocery store would have been the next logical thing to build out there. But nothing ever materialized. That probably hurt more than anything.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:22 AM
 
294 posts, read 272,328 times
Reputation: 64
I don't always agree with Mercer, but he just owned Connelly. Coming on the heels of Connelly's comments and vote on the Evans Street project Connelly's public image is taking a beating.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 988,879 times
Reputation: 591
Letter: Questionable rationalization

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday night's meeting was an example of personal preference taking precedence over logic.

At-Large Councilman Calvin Mercer voted "no" to a rezoning request for an 84.533 acre parcel of land located on Charles Boulevard. The city staff provides numerous pages of information pertaining to the items listed on our agenda for each council member to help formulate an opinion.

After the vote to approve the item failed, Dr. Mercer chose to make remarks to help justify his position for voting against the proposed rezoning. During his remarks, he mentioned he voted against this particular rezoning because, "My understanding, which I have been as clear about this as I can, with the people I have talked to, if we had tonight voted for this project and essentially added student housing on that 85 acre project then we would likely lose this 10th Street project that I have made decisions to support."

I'm not sure where Dr. Mercer received this information or why this information was even part of the equation, but it clearly paints a vivid picture.

We as council members are not elected to make decisions based on personal preferences, and we should not be meddling in free trade. Dr. Mercer had every right to reject the requested rezoning based on his opinion of Greenville's land use plan, but chose to interfere with potential competition by another project.

The government has no right to select winners and losers, and Monday night's meeting was a prime example of why we struggle to recruit businesses and dignified, high paying jobs to our city. The citizens of Greenville deserve better than this and decisions based on facts and not favoritism.

P.J. Connelly
District 5 Greenville City Council member
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Winterville
181 posts, read 215,526 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancisDrake View Post
I don't always agree with Mercer, but he just owned Connelly. Coming on the heels of Connelly's comments and vote on the Evans Street project Connelly's public image is taking a beating.
Not sure I agree with you. They both seem to have some points. As of this point in Connely's time at City Council I think he's done a great job of siding with the people vs the government, as many governments do, sides with those with the money because they either have a vested interest, are looking for favors in return or think that government is there to make the public money via more taxes. Connely has done a great job of voting to try and prevent Greenville from acting like "big government". I agree, that I don't really understand why one project gets a green light and another doesn't. Why is it their job to decide who should be able to build and who shouldn't? There is always the potential for business to fail but there doesn't seem to be a valid reason to prevent them from building that is directly related to protecting the public that isn't more that speculation.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:54 PM
 
2,401 posts, read 3,369,109 times
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I disagree with both council members. I don't think one is picking and choosing and I don't think the one that voted against the complex should have.

What they both should have done is approved the project (there was no fact based reason to deny it)...and then instructed the City Manager and staff to bring back a staff report on the amount of student housing and the need for additional.

If they want to enact a moratorium on student housing...they better have some facts in front of them...instead of a bunch of conjecture. To do it to one complex was wrong...but I don't see it as picking and choosing, I see the denial as a concern that may or may not be justified.

I am usually not a proponent in tabling approvals, but this one should have been deferred until the next meeting.

Bad government by the Council on this particular issue. And no clear direction from the City Managers office. Everyone with egg on their face...and spilled over to the paper and now this forum.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:36 AM
 
1,022 posts, read 1,007,124 times
Reputation: 367
Another housing development shot down.


Quote:
A developer and property owner looking to build affordable housing off of Bells Fork Road is facing opposition from neighboring property owners citing concerns about traffic impacts and incompatible residential densities.

A request going before the City Council on April 10 seeks to rezone 5.5 acres of farmland on Bells Fork Road from agricultural-single residential zone to high density multi-family. The request was rejected by a 8-1 vote from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on March 21.

The property is located on Bells Fork Road across the street from its intersection with Southridge Drive and near the Evanswood and Cherry Oaks subdivisions, all single-family, owner-occupied neighborhoods. It is located south of a large commercial and shopping district near Charles Boulevard and Fire Tower Road, which is one of the city’s busiest and most wreck-prone intersections.

Ohio-based developers The Woda Group want to construct an apartment complex on the property that will have between 70-75 multi-family units on the site. Nick Surak, a project manager with The Woda Group, said the apartment buildings would be 2-3 stories and would provide on-site parking.

“The selection of this site was determined on its proximity to retail in the area,” Surak said. “This site is one of the best I’ve seen as far as access to retail.”

Surak said The Woda Group specializes in affordable housing and has similar developments in 13 states, including Rocky Mount and Zebulon.

“The families that live in our developments typically earn between $22,000 and $40,000 a year,” he said.
The property’s owners, Hugh and Ida Lynn Stox, said the property has been owned by the the Stox family for more than 80 years and currently is used for farming.

“I’ve seen this area grow over the years,” Ida Lynn Stox said. “And I think this will be a good addition to this area and will be good for the city.

“Greenville has the best rental market we’ve ever had,” she said. “I don’t think we could ever build too much.”
However, residents from adjacent neighborhoods disagreed and went before the commission with concerns about the negative effects high-density housing would have on traffic.

“This parcel is landlocked,” said Melissa Norris, a resident of the Cherry Oaks subdivision. “There will be only one way in and out of Bells Fork Road and the businesses up the road already are flooding the area with traffic. Also, the property owners are planning to develop the entire 35 acres of this property which will mean even more traffic on a two-lane road.”
Other residents expressed concerns that high-density complexes should not be placed next to neighborhoods that are primarily single-family homes.

“That type of zoning doesn’t seem compatible with what currently is there,” one woman said during the meeting. “We are not suggesting that the land cannot be developed ... if they would consider a lower-density it might make people in our area feel a little better due to the traffic concerns.”

Some residents said they were concerned about how their property values would be affected if low-income housing is built across the road from their neighborhoods.

“You work hard your whole life to pay off your home and then someone suddenly tells you they’re building low-income housing in your area,” said Al Waters, a resident of Southridge Drive. “How would you feel if that happened to you and you own a nice home? I can tell you that you wouldn’t like it.

“We all know what happens to apartments in Greenville after five or six years and no one wants to live in them anymore,” Waters said. “You get child molesters ... you get felons wearing ankle bracelets. I’ve worked hard my whole life and I’m concerned about what is going to happen to my property values.”

Although the Planning and Zoning Commission denied the rezoning request by an 8-1 vote, the request will go before the Greenville City Council during its April 10 meeting.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-3 against a similar request during its Feb. 21 meeting from WGB Properties to rezone just less than eight acres along the northern right-of-way of Clifton Street and the eastern right-of-way of Evans Street. However, the City Council during its March 20 meeting approved the request by a 5-1 vote.
NIMBYs at it again! Child molestors? Felons with ankle bracelets? Amazing what people will conjure up in their own heads. Little does that person know, there's probably someone who has committed a major crime within a mile of where they live. **edit** I checked the NC Sex Offender database, and there are 8 RSOs within a 1 mile radius of that person's street.

I don't see a problem with this development. Affordable housing does not mean it will be crime ridden.

Hopefully, the city council will review it and have it approved. Greenville needs more affordable places to live.

Last edited by michealbond; 03-30-2017 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 03-30-2017, 08:02 AM
 
5 posts, read 8,084 times
Reputation: 10
We don't need another area of student housing in Greenville. It already feels like half the city is just ECU property and student housing to start with. I think the fate of North Campus Crossing should be enough to realize that a small village isn't needed for student living.
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
839 posts, read 1,041,312 times
Reputation: 176
Concerning the bells fork development ... if it's going to be cheap housing for people, makes you wonder what kind of quality they are going to build there.

The quote about the molesters and ankle bracelets was a bit of a reach but if I lived in the neighborhood across the street or in Ida Lynn Stox lives for that matter... I wouldn't want an apartment complex over there either honestly, no matter if it's a low income or ritzy place.

There is a lack of land in that area of Greenville for nice neighborhoods. Surprised a builder hasn't tried to purchase that land for houses.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 988,879 times
Reputation: 591
I get what they're saying. I wouldn't want that nearby either. Right or wrong, it's just the way people are.
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:04 PM
 
294 posts, read 272,328 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Bret Wickstrom View Post
Not sure I agree with you. They both seem to have some points. As of this point in Connely's time at City Council I think he's done a great job of siding with the people vs the government, as many governments do, sides with those with the money because they either have a vested interest, are looking for favors in return or think that government is there to make the public money via more taxes. Connely has done a great job of voting to try and prevent Greenville from acting like "big government". I agree, that I don't really understand why one project gets a green light and another doesn't. Why is it their job to decide who should be able to build and who shouldn't? There is always the potential for business to fail but there doesn't seem to be a valid reason to prevent them from building that is directly related to protecting the public that isn't more that speculation.
In general theory I would agree with Connelly regarding fair trade and the Charles Blvd project, but there is also a line you have to walk, which Mercer illustrates, as a leadership trying to grow a city. As I understand it, the city isn't playing favorites, it worked in some capacity to make these Uptown developments happen. I understand the need to not undermine that work and potentially future development at this point in time. Greenville is growing but it needs cultivation. The Uptown growth is probably still fragile and if it is focal point for the community I have no problem with this action. To look at Mercer's decision in a vacuum is to ignore the entirety of the situation. I appreciate the fact the Mercer mentioned he would probably vote in favor of the project later.

Having said that, as previously mentioned earlier that the city had better have actual facts to stand when making these decisions. If not they're inviting trouble. How many studies have they commissioned... why not do one for student housing so we know exactly what we're working with?
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