Sunday, December 10, 2023

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Graham, NC 27253
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Council expands uses allowed at retail center on Garden Road

Burlington’s city council has agreed to adjust the zoning designation for a small retail center at Garden Road’s intersection with Boone Station Drive to allow the property owner to accommodate a wider range of businesses on the premises.

During a regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to apply a “limited use” form of general business zoning to this 2.09-acre parcel at 3315 Garden Road in lieu of the “conditional use” designation it received in 2005.

Jamie Lawson, the city’s planning director, told the council that Jeff Deal had applied for this change on behalf of property owner due to the relatively constrained nature of the lot’s current classification.

“There were a very limited number of uses that were allowed as part of that conditional zoning – restaurants, retail, and nail salons,” she recalled before the council rendered its verdict. “The applicant made a request for rezoning so they could expand the number of uses that would be allowed.”

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Lawson added that, rather than seek a straight-up general business designation, the property owner has opted for a “limited use” form of zoning that she said excludes “about half” of the uses that are otherwise permitted in general business zones.

Lawson noted that uses which the applicant has voluntarily agreed to omit include group homes, multi-family residences, auditoriums, libraries, museums, helicopter pads, and passenger terminals. Among the 66 that remain are childcare centers, schools, religious institutions, medical services, veterinary clinics, bars and cocktail lounges, microbreweries, gyms and fitness centers, commercial indoor recreation, light manufacturing, and farmer’s markets.

Lawson acknowledged that the city’s planning and zoning commission had voted 4-to-2 to recommend this request to the city council. The council, for its part, approved the new zoning by a margin of 5-to-0.

During the planning board meeting, it was described that the intended tenant is a bar/bottle shop, which drew opposition from two members who disagreed with allowing a bar so close to two businesses around the corner of the same office building that cater to children.

But no mention was made during this week’s council meeting of the proposed tenant.

A Sylvan Learning Center and Lee Brothers Martial Arts studio are around the corner in the same building where the rezoning was proposed.

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