The massive down zoning (to 1 unit/2 acres) being considered by Knightdale for nearly 44% of the land it has planning jurisdiction over is well on its way to approval. After holding the public hearing open for 3 weeks, Council sent the item to the Land Use Review Board (LURB). The LURB met on 11/13 and with hardly more than a blink unanimously approved the proposed zoning map amendments that would effectuate the massive down zoning.
Even after many meetings with elected official, staff and stakeholders, speaking at all three public hearings and communicating with the LURB, the opinion on this item among the elected officials is seemingly not to be swayed. The item is scheduled to come back to the Council at their 11/19/18 meeting at 7pm where it is expected to pass.
The Town of Knightdale closed its public hearing after holding it open for 3 meetings to receive public input. At the meeting on Monday, 11/5/18 at 7pm, there were only 5 who spoke against the proposed map amendments and 1 who spoke in favor. These numbers are significantly lower than the past two meetings, but to be expected with the fatigue that comes with tracking issues like these.
The Town made some changes to the zoning map, removing 95 parcels from the new Rural Transition (RT) zoning classification. However, this removal only brought the amount of land being rezoned from 47.5% of land controlled by Knightdale to 43.6%. This RT zoning is set at 1 unit/2 acres and is clearly being set to create large areas of Knightdale that will require a rezoning request through a legislative process instead of going through the current set up of a Special Use Permit via a quasi-judicial process.
While the Town contends that the motivation is for increased transparency and greater flexibility, those who own large parcels of land or plan to develop in Knightdale believe it to be a downzoning of their property, creating greater ambiguity and lowering confidence in the process.
As the HBA, we spoke at all three public hearings, held meetings with staff and elected officials and have tried to convince the Town and Council that the proposed massive rezoning is not the right path to take to gain greater transparency and flexibility. Unfortunately, there seems to be much buy-in for this change among both staff and Council.
At the final public hearing, the Town Council voted unanimously to close the public hearing and move the item to the Land Use Review Board which will begin discussion on the item at the 11/14 meeting, 6pm, Knightdale Town Hall. If they act quickly, it could be back to the Council as early as 11/20/18. Please click here for more information on the proposed changes. Contact Suzanne Harris with questions or concerns.
The Town of Knightdale is currently proposing major changes to its zoning map. Most significantly, 47.5% of the land in Knightdale's jurisdiction is proposed to change from its current zoning (which varies) to a new zoning classification called Rural Transition (RT). This RT zoning is a downzoning to 1 unit/2 acres. The town initiated rezoning is stated to be based upon the KnightdaleNext 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
At the first public hearing on 10/1/18 so many speakers spoke against the changes that the public hearing was carried forward to the 10/17/18 meeting. Again, at that meeting, many showed up to speak against the proposed rezoning and consequently the public hearing was extended a second time until the 11/5/18 meeting at 7:00 p.m.
The Town sees the proposed change as providing greater flexibility to the land owners and developers instead of locking them into a stated zoning, it's a "transition" district. Also, the Town believes the change from a special use permit/quasi-judicial hearing to a rezoning request through a legislative process will allow for more transparency among the developer, Town and citizens.
Many land owners and developers are concerned about the cost of land, the predictability of the process, financing capabilities and slowing down of the process. There is also much debate over the methodology used for determining what land should be rezoned - what constitutes "rural transition". Very many see this as a downzoning and a taking of development rights.
Many meetings have taken place between the HBA and the Town staff, elected officials and with interested members. There still is a divide in the belief as to what the unintended consequences of this rezoning will be. To read more on this topic, please click here. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.