Sarah Kate Purnell
On Jan. 16 the Greensboro City Council met in the Council Chamber of the Melvin Municipal Building in downtown Greensboro. Among items discussed were a controversial rezoning project on Lawndale Dr., as well as a resolution to call on Congress for the immediate action to pass the Dream Act.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the meeting started with the introduction of the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University football team. The council members passed a motion to recognize the football team for their third undefeated football season in NC A&T history and first undefeated season in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference.
The city council members thanked the team for the positive impact they continue to make on the Greensboro community, as well as head coach, Rod Broadway, who will be retiring this year.
The council members spent much of the meeting discussing a rezoning project for an area of land on Lawndale Dr. The project aims to turn a 1.33 acre area that currently is occupied by two single family homes into offices.
Speakers associated with the project discussed the expected ease of rezoning from a current residential area to an office. In addition, the project includes several conditions in order to maintain neutrality with the neighbors.
Conditions include that the space be used for low traffic, small offices such as medical or dental businesses or townhouses and single family homes. The building can be no more than two stories and is limited to 25,000 square feet or less.
Individuals that represented the rezoning project on assured the council members that neighbors supported the new construction and that the conditions were created in order to comply with their requests.
However, several neighbors spoke against the rezoning and voiced several concerns such as traffic increases in their neighborhood, increase of commercial use and that the area would become “another Battleground Avenue.”
Furthermore, there was much controversy as to whether storm water drainage would pose a threat to the existing neighborhoods.
“If the application supports the highest and best use, Greensboro City Council should support it,” stated Justin Outling in favor of the rezoning project.
The rezoning project for the lot on Lawndale passed 8-1, with Sharon Hightower voting against it.
The council also discussed a resolution calling on Congress for immediate action to pass the Dream Act.
“If DACA beneficiaries are removed from our labor market, North Carolina would experience $1.1 billion annual GDP loss. The city of Greensboro is committed to promoting programs and policies, such as the Dream Act, that empower and protect immigrant youth so that they can pursue their dreams as active participatory members of the city of Greensboro’s education system, workforce, and overall economy,” said Marikay Abuzuaiter from the resolution.
Several DACA recipients and individuals in support of the Dream Act took the stand to voice their support for the resolution.
Abuzuaiter again stated her support and expected a unanimous vote from her colleagues on the resolution. Abuzuaiter and speakers additionally voiced that Martin Luther King Jr. would support this act, in lieu of Martin Luther King Day.
“His dream would have included you being a part of the community and the communities across the United States because you are important, because you are so valuable in this country,” said Abuzuaiter to the speakers.
The resolution passed unanimously.
The next scheduled Greensboro City Council meeting will be held on Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber of the Melvin Municipal Building.