An office complex is not the neighbor residents behind Crabtree Valley Mall wanted, but it may be the neighbor they get.
A developer has asked the city to rezone 49 acres off of Edwards Mill Road next to Stough Elementary School. The land is currently zoned for residential use, not commercial.
Residents in nearby subdivisions and apartments like it that way. Their main concern with adding businesses is the additionaltraffic.
"Crabtree already has a huge traffic issue, and they want to generate another 7,000 cars in and out of that area," said opponent Lori King.
Residents have sent the planning commission a 160-signature petition against rezoning the land.
Opponents say they are trying to protect the investments they have already made in their properties. "When you make an investment, zoning laws should be in place. Because, you know, people want to make an investment, and they don't want, 12 years later, for someone to come knocking on their door and say 'We're sorry. You made 12 year's investment, you know, [but] get out, or put up and take it," King said.
But some residents say rezoning for a business park could help the traffic situation, because developers would be required to put in a stoplight next to the school.
They also say business traffic would only increase the number of vehicles at certain times of the day, while more homes or apartments would increase the residential traffic at all times.
"Our fear is if this gets defeated, another developer would come in and ask for the zoning to be changed from R4 to R10 or R20 and have apartments come in," said resident Ruthie Jones.
The planning commission was expected to make a recommendation to the city council, but did not. Instead, the panel delayed the decision and urged the developer to look into mixed use of the land for commercial and residential properties.
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