Local News

Property Near Carolina Crossroads in Zoning Dispute

Posted October 1, 2007 9:43 p.m. EDT

— Halifax County is counting on the Carolina Crossroads theater for an economic boost, but not all surrounding property owners are happy about the new development.

Country music star Randy Parton, brother of Dolly Parton, is the linchpin for Carolina Crossroads – an entertainment hub that will feature live entertainment, retail shops and other prospective attractions.

The Chantilly Mobile Home Court sits between Quiet Circle and Peaceful Drive, next to Carolina Crossroads.

Chantilly owner Thomas Ferguson asked the Roanoke Rapids Board of Commissioners if he could change his property from a residential to a business zone. He wanted to build another storage facility and an office, but the city denied his request.

Ferguson claims the city is limiting how businesses around Carolina Crossroads grow.

“They got that little control and they're not going to let go of it,” Ferguson said.

“People legitimately are afraid (that) if they move in here, they won't be able to live here 10 to 15 years like some of my current residents,” Ferguson said.

City Planner George Gurley said officials are trying to watch out for all interests.

“They want to look after the little man as well as the big developer. All developers are important to us in the city,” Gurley said.

Gurley said commissioners recommended Ferguson apply for a conditional use permit. Gurley also said there are no favorites inside City Hall.

A spokesperson for Carolina Crossroads said it has numerous restrictions of its own under the city's entertainment district ordinance. When that ordinance was set up, guidelines were established to encourage orderly development in the area, said the spokesperson.

Still, some folks said they feel that if Carolina Crossroads expands, it will not benefit small-property owners.

"Swallowed up by restaurants and motels. If you notice, we got the motel coming,” Elton Gillikin, a Chantilly Court resident, said.

A Carolina Crossroads spokesperson said their developers have not approached any surrounding property owners about buying them out.

The city manager pointed out that neighbors are benefiting from Carolina Crossroads. In some cases, land is worth 30 times what it was before the theater opened.