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.