Update: In the comments to this post, Ed Cone has the answer to my question of where the money might come from for WMS's (and surrounds) re-zoning application. Anyone else?
I spent some time down at City Hall yesterday morning trying to move an important aspect of the Aycock Neighborhood Strategic Plan (PDF file) along.
One of the action points in the adopted Plan is to expand the actual and official boundaries of our neighborhood to include the properties that are included in the plan. Most prominent among such currently un-included properties are War Memorial Stadium and the Greensboro Farmers Market.
Aycock Neighborhood is a locally designated Historic District, however, War Memorial and the Farmer's Market, even though they are in the greater neighborhood (and are certainly historic structures), are not included in the Historic District zoning overlay. Because of this, they are outside the purvue of the Aycock Neighborhood Association's governance and the Greensboro Historic District Commission. Also they are not subject to the protections and restrictions outlined in the City's Historic District Guidelines.
We are working to change that, so a letter was sent to the City Council back in February asking them to initiate the zoning request. My visit to the City planning department yesterday was to check on the progress of our request. Finding none, I went ahead and got the ball rolling. The zoning staff was most helpful. We looked up the map designations and I filled out the form on the spot, but then ran into a snag. Money.
Because the area is in excess of 5 acres, the cost of filing our zoning request is $1,000. I checked my billfold and came up short so went down the hall to see Housing and Community Development Director Andy Scott to get his department to write the check. I figured that since the property is owned by the City of Greensboro, and since the City Council indicated by unanimous vote that our plan was worth implementing, it seemed that the City should pay the $1,000 to have their own properties' zoning changed.
Andy, whom I have known for years and admire... a lot, said he would check in to it and get back to me. I headed back toward Planning and said hello to some friends and acquaintances in HCD along the way and informed everyone about what my neighborhood was looking to do. They will all have a hand in the many hearings and decisions that such a request triggers - which will be numerous: Historic District Commission, Zoning Commission, Parks & Rec. Commission and finally City Council... it will be a six month process - if everything runs smoothly.
As I was getting ready to leave, Andy found me and said he had made some quick inquiries with higher-ups and was informed that the City has never paid to have it's own property rezoned.
So, where do we go for the thousand bucks? Bake sale? Action Greensboro? Bryan Foundation? Or... Why doesn't the City simply waive its own fee? I stopped by the City Manager's office on the way out of the building and left a message for Ed Kitchen to call me, perhaps no one has thought of that solution yet.
I'll keep you posted