Albemarle Council approves rezoning requests for residential and light industrial

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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Albemarle City Council had two public hearings recently regarding rezoning requests.

The first was a 0.25-acre, 11,250-square-foot property at 1611 Almond St., which will be rezoned from GHBD (General Highway Business District) to R-10/General Residential District.

John Huneycutt of Almond Street General Partnership is the applicant. According to his statement for the proposed request, the property has always been residential, but is zoned GHBD due to proximity to U.S. Highway 52. Already located within an established neighborhood, Huneycutt plans to use the property as a single-family dwelling.

Originally built in 1935, the home has been vacant since the early 2000s. Huneycutt bought the home several years ago and has been renovating it. He told council some of his family members are interested in purchasing it.

The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended City Council approval.

Council unanimously approved the ordinance request.

The second is a 0.43 acre property at 323 Brooks St., which is about 18,900 square feet and will be rezoned from CBD (Central Business District) to LID (Light Industrial District).

The applicant, Crook Motor Company, leased the property to wash heavy duty trucks for more than 30 years before electricity was disconnected in 2016. After attempting to reconnect, Crook discovered the proposed use was no longer permitted (thanks to text amendments by council in 2019) and the property has been vacant ever since. To continue the washing station, the property requires a rezoning to an industrial district.

Crook Motor Company owner Richard Almond said the property was specifically built to wash heavy duty trucks and that all surrounding properties are also zoned light industrial.

Planning staff had concerns that the rezoning would direct increased truck traffic on Brooks Street, which they called a substandard city street, and would also expand industrial uses into city center. They found the rezoning request to be inconsistent with the city’s future land use plan.

“Staff does have concerns about setting precedent in terms of taking existing city center parcels and converting them into industrial,” Senior Planner Ellie Sheild told council.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Board, though, unanimously recommended City Council approval with the adopted zoning amendment statement.

Council approved the ordinance request, noting that while the action to rezone the property is inconsistent with the 2028 Land Use Plan, rezoning the property will be in the public interest and shall be deemed reasonable.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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