The county administrative officer will review a proposal to rezone a plot of land on Defense Highway to allow for commercial development.
A local business owner has asked the county to upzone about 1.5 acres from rural-agricultural (RA) to C1 zoning, on the grounds that it should have been changed during the comprehensive re-zoning process in 2011. A hearing on the issue is scheduled before the county’s administrative officer on Nov. 14 at 10:30 a.m.
The request for rezoning comes from Paul Enger and his son Chris, the owners of the nearby Danny’s Pool and Patio Center, who are seeking to use the land to expand their business. Currently, the land is occupied by an old house that the Engers plan to preserve, but they are looking to build about 3,000 square feet of retail and storage space.
An attorney for the Engers wrote to county planners requesting the upzoning on the grounds that the area has become less residential over the years.
“When the Enger property was first zoned RA in the early 1970s, this property was primarily residential in nature, ” attorney Sager A. Williams said. “Today, however, the character of the neighborhood is decidedly non-residential and more commercial.”
Council member Jerry Walker (R-District 7) said the property should have been rezoned during comprehensive rezoning process in 2011, but it was overlooked. He concurred that there is precedent for upzoning along Defense Highway, as the adjacent property occupied by Fat Boys Crab Shack was changed from RA to C-1 zoning in 2011.
But county planners have opposed an upzoning on the grounds that it would not comply with broad development guidelines, which call for the preservation of “semi-rural character of the area.” Planners noted that the land occupied Fat Boys Crab Shack was only rezoned because the business had been permitted to operate as non-conforming for years.
“Rezoning properties in this area piecemeal will lead to haphazard development and nonconformity to the General Development Plan,” wrote Cindy Carrier, a senior planner in the Long Range Planning Division.
Nearby residents have also opposed the upzoning, citing concern that the area has become too congested.
Do you think the county should approve a change from rural to commercial zoning on this stretch of Defense Highway?