Rezoning for beauty shop on East Elm Street in Graham withdrawn

A proposal to rezone a single-family house to allow a beauty shop along East Elm Street ended up in more controversy than the property owner had envisioned.

James N. Norris, Jr. approached Graham’s planning board Tuesday night, seeking a B-2 (business) rezoning for a house at the corner of East Elm and North Melville streets.

Norris explained that his daughter, Brooke Norris, hopes to operate a beauty salon at the location. She told The Alamance News she hopes to open Magnolia Beauty Studio at the site.

James N. Norris, Jr. and daughter Brooke Norris during Graham planning board meeting on August 16.

However, planning board members were reticent to go along with an open-ended business rezoning that could allow many other uses on the property, which would be the only B-2 zoning on the 300-block of East Elm, on either side of the thoroughfare.

An office and institutional corner lot is opposite the 300 East Elm Street address, but most of the other zoning designations along both sides of the street are residential.

It was explained that the zoning designation, once granted, conveys with any subsequent sale of the property, and members worried over a potential car wash, convenience store, or other use that would be far removed from Norris’ request for his daughter to have a beauty shop operation.

Planning board members discussed whether Norris’ best option might be to propose a residential zoning with a conditional use that would specify the limited functions that his daughter envisions on site: beauty parlor, nail salon, etc.

They hinted that he should consider withdrawing his pending rezoning request and work with the city’s planner, Cameron West, on a more suitable, narrowly-tailored rezoning request that the board could consider next month.

Norris then withdrew his B-2 rezoning request.