Greensboro looks to develop businesses on vacant lots, abandoned building

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The city of Greensboro has begun a push for incoming businesses to develop on vacant lots and in existing buildings that have been abandoned. 

It is a part of the city’s Filling in the Framework development plan, which is one of the six big ideas listed in the city’s Comprehensive Plan for 2040.

City and development leaders said this will help increase the value of the neighborhoods around these current “eye sores.” 

“The property itself will become more valuable. It will also help create jobs that will make the local economy more vibrant,” Greensboro Committee Chair Justin Outling said.

The idea came after a survey found many in the community wanted a more dense and vibrant community near their homes. 

There is not list of vacant and abandon properties that could be developed. There is also not a current list available online of existing land and buildings owned by the city and those owned by private entities. 

Outling stressed that this will include more discussions about rezoning to get certain companies to develop in their desired locations. 

However, there will be a lengthy discussion process to make sure that the business is able to complement the existing neighborhoods in that area.

The plan also requires that an applicant must meet 10 requirements before approval or discussions of rezoning are approved. 

According to the city they are: 

  1. Is the proposed rezoning in an area with an adopted neighborhood, corridor, Redevelopment, or small area plan, and if so, is it consistent with that plan? 
  2. Does the proposed rezoning support uses anticipated with the Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Map and Future Built For Map designations?
  3. Is the site for the proposed zoning district in an Activity Center or directly adjacent to an Activity Center? 
  4. Are the use permitted within the proposed zoning district found elsewhere within the same Future Built Form (center, place type, or corridor), or can the same uses be found in an area with the same Future Built Form designation elsewhere in Greensboro?
  5. Are the uses permitted within the proposed zoning district of a similar scale, intensity, or off-site impact as existing nearby uses? 
  6. If a warranted due to differences in the zoning, use or scale of adjacent properties, can the property proposed for rezoning accommodate a satisfactory transition to the existing scale and intensity of existing, adjacent uses? 
  7. Are the uses permitted within the proposed zoning district compatible with the sale and design of the adjacent road? 
  8. Would the proposed rezoning or land use change impact the existing adjacent land uses? Is the proposed zoning compatible with existing adjacent land uses? Would the proposed change make a use or building nonconforming or increase the degree of nonconformity? 
  9. Will the proposed zoning accommodate development that permits the extending of the existing and planned street and sidewalk system and the place ’s priorities for interconnection of adjacent neighborhoods? 
  10. Does the proposed change in zoning support one of the Big Ideas such as Growing Economic Competitiveness, Filling in our Framework, or Created Great Places? 

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