The following is a letter sent from Andy Aronson a concerned neighbor to the Zoning Commissioners that brings out a number of facts that have not been considered in Glenn Drew’s REZoning Application. We encourage you to read this email and send an email yourself to each of the commissions.
Letter to Zoning Commissioners
November 15, 2023
I am writing to oppose the development on the 4000-4006 block of Friendly Avenue. There are several reasons why I am against the development. Reading the 2040 plan, understanding it, and the proposed development, one will realize the CZS & Glenn Drew’s plan is not in accord with the 2040 plan.
THIS DEVELOPMENT DOES NOT FIT IN WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND IS IN CONFLICT WITH THE GREENSBORO 2040 PLAN.
I attended the meeting held by CZS’s attorneys on November 13 and listened as they misrepresented by omission the truth on many topics including the 2040 guidelines. I would like to direct your attention to Chapter 4, page 24.
“Preservation of Greenspace and Neighborhood Quality Greensboro has an abundance of stable neighborhoods and greenspaces, including public parks. … People are aware of the need to grow and change, but are concerned about the impacts of growth on both existing neighborhoods and green spaces.”
This development has certainly raised awareness because the development does not blend in or accentuate the neighborhood in a positive manner and the entire community that lives around the project recognizes that fact. This is a commercial enterprise trying to fit into a residential neighborhood known for stability, walkability, friendly neighbors, parks, and beautiful homes with expansive yards in a safe neighborhood. These are the qualities that bring people to the city, and they have the goal of living in these areas. We do not want, nor did we ask for this change to our neighborhood, especially when there are viable alternatives such as single family housing on 1/3 acres per the existing R3 designation.
Continuing in Chapter 4 page 27.
WHY CREATE GREAT PLACES? “Greensboro understands the value of having healthy neighborhoods and housing and is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all its residents. Ensuring the stability and livability of neighborhoods and housing in all areas of the City remain a key factor in Greensboro’s future success.”
CZS & Glenn Drew’s project is at complete odds with the above statement and goal of Greensboro’s 2040 plan. There is nothing like it within ½ mile in either direction or further once Friendly Ave. is crossed. Preservation of the neighborhood as it currently exists is in GREENSBORO’S BEST INTEREST and is consistent with the 2040 plan.
I direct your attention to Chapter 5, Page 28.
Greensboro residents desire more housing options in and near the downtown area and across all areas of the city. A healthy city needs options for safe, affordable housing, consistent code enforcement for properties in disrepair, and convenient access to goods, services, and amenities.
Glenn Drew and CZS’s proposed project is NOT downtown but in a 70-year-old stable neighborhood with well-kept homes, lawns, and a pleasing variety of styles. The proposed starting base rent, prior to rent rolls to pass along increasing costs, is $3,000 per month. This is over twice the average apartment rent in Greensboro. This is not affordable housing, nor is it intended to be affordable. As was confirmed in the meeting on November 13, this project has been designed to yield as much income as possible for Glenn Drew. By maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood as is, still leaves attractive amenities within a mile, i.e.: Friendly Shopping Center on one end and Quaker Village on the other.
This is an unnecessary and unwanted development and all rights should be disallowed.
Looking at Chapter 6: BIG IDEA – BECOMING CAR OPTIONAL.
“Street Design Transportation … Best practices such as Context Sensitive Design and Context Sensitive Solutions and policies for creating complete streets have shifted the focus of road design away from a singular emphasis on cars and drivers to consideration of pedestrians, cyclists, and nearby residents …
Greensboro, like most cities, has historically designed and built streets primarily with the safety of motorists in mind, under the assumption that most users of the road will be motorists and that motorists will obey posted traffic signs. The safety of pedestrians is an often-stated concern in neighborhoods across Greensboro, particularly on interior streets…
Our neighborhood is very walkable, every day hundreds of people join in groups and singularly walk around the neighborhood on our safe, wide, and quiet streets. Our neighborhood is studded with parks for children to play, wildlife to live and friends to congregate. It would be irresponsible to change this situation as we currently meet the 2040 goal – well ahead of time.
Greenspace The importance of keeping the green in Greensboro was highlighted in public comments throughout the process. Greensboro’s linear parks, set around the small streams that form the headwaters of the Cape Fear River, are an important part of a growing and active transportation network that provides both passive and active recreation space as well as wildlife habitats.
What could be more green than well landscaped and manicured lawns with mature 50-to-80-foot old growth trees? Certainly not clearcutting for development and replacing them with 4’f to 8’ trees when mature, swamp grass, and a retaining pond that cannot support tree growth.as proposed.
I will close with a quote from Chapter 8, pages 41 & 43 of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. “OUR GOALS AND STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS” GOAL – E
Our goals and strategies for building community connections focus on what makes us a unique community, be it our diversity, our history, the presence of higher education, or the events and festivals we hold. …Everyone does their part to maintain stable, attractive, and healthy places to live and raise families.”
“Strategy 2: Build neighborhood association capacity to work collaboratively, assess conditions, and effect change. Strengthen neighborhood planning tools and coordinate City programs and funding initiatives to support public and private efforts to protect and improve all neighborhoods. Create and foster partnerships among and between neighborhoods to strengthen the social fabric of Greensboro.”
This is exactly what we have done. The neighborhood has come together to protect our unique, stable, and desirable neighborhood of single-family homes on 1/3 acre lots with trees and large setbacks including side and rear setbacks. We have tried to coordinate with the city, hence the meeting between the neighborhood coalition and city planning, contacting the zoning commission, attending zoning meetings, and having community meetings attended by hundreds of people. We surveyed the populous made our wishes and desires known to CZS & Glenn Drew and tried to negotiate. But were rebuffed because it does not meet the needs of one person’s wallet, and he does not live in the neighborhood that he is trying to ruin. Our neighborhood deserves protection from encroachment!
If the city is honest about its stated goal to support public and private efforts to protect and improve all neighborhoods, then you MUST REJECT CZS & GLENN DREW’S 22 UNIT ATTACHED TOWNHOMES THAT MUST CLEARCUT THE ENTIRE 4.4 ACRES TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOAL TO ENRICH THEMSELVES BY INCREASING DENSITY TO A DEGREE THAT IS MUCH GREATER THAN ANYTHING IN THE NEIGHBOREHOOD AND FITS BETTER IN A MULTITUDE OF OTHER LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE CITY, THROUGH AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THAT BENEFITS ONLY ONE PERSON.
Thank you for your time,
Andrew D. Aronson CFB, FSC
Partner and Managing Member
The Aronson Group of Companies
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