Office rezoning across from ARMC draws no opposition, unanimous council approval

Burlington’s city council voted 5 to 0 Thursday morning (March 18) in favor of a request for office and institutional zoning along a 22-acre lot on the other side of Grand Oaks Boulevard from Alamance Regional Medical Center.

Although the city’s land use plan recommends rural residential development on this site, the city’s planning staff had considered the request compatible with neighboring land uses – a verdict that the council unanimously echoed.

“I think it’s an ideal use in that particular location at that corner,” councilman Harold Owen said, summing up the prevailing mood of the council, prior to the council’s unanimous vote.

Back in February, the city’s planning staff and planning commission voiced no qualms about overruling the city’s land use plan in regard to another proposal that came before the planning commission that night.

In this case, Brian Hall of the Samet Corporation requested office and institutional use for some 22.1 residentially-zoned acres at the southeast corner of Huffman Mill Road and Grand Oaks Boulevard. Although the city’s land use plan calls for rural residential or agricultural use in this location, the planning staff had concurred with the applicant’s request to retag it for office-style development.

The property in question is already adjacent to a “sliver” of land owned by Alamance Regional Medical Center that’s zoned for office and institutional use.

Joey Lea, the city’s zoning and subdivision administrator, told the commission that property directly across the road from this site was previously zoned for office and institutional use in anticipation of the hospital’s future growth.

The commission went on to vote 7-to-0 to endorse the request. The council vote Thursday morning was 5-0 in favor of the rezoning.  No one spoke against the project – neither at the planning commission meeting last month, Tuesday night’s public hearing, or at Thursday morning’s council meeting.

See coverage of earlier planning commission discussion and vote: