Mill Race rezoning recommended

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Parcels of the Mill Race subdivision, which initially had industrial zoning due to the proposed Republic landfill, have now been recommended to be rezoned by members of the Cumberland County Planning Commission.

The four parcels are among 13 lots in the subdivision, located on Almond Lane off French’s Store Road. The commission recommended that the parcels be zoned from Industrial-2 (M-2) to Agricultural-2 (A-2). The remaining lots are also zoned A-2.

According to the Planning Commission staff report, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on this proposal Nov. 28, 2016.

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“Due to the obligations contained in the Host Agreement for the Allied/Republic landfill, the Commission directed staff that the application should be deferred until the legal issues are resolved, or until the statutory time limits are going to be met. Litigation has since been resolved,” the staff report cited.

J.P. Duncan, planning/zoning administrator, said John Godsey, the applicant and area real estate agent, is interested in rezoning the property for the purposes of allowing for single-family homes.

Godsey attended the Feb. 25 commission meeting. The owner of property is listed on the application as Cumberland County Development Co., LLC. The address of Cumberland County Development Co., LLC was listed as the care of Drew Isenhour of Republic Services.

District Four Commissioner Hubert Allen expressed concern that the four parcels proposed to be rezoned are surrounded by land with industrial zoning, and was unsure why all of the land could not be rezoned as A-2.

“My fear would be that that would be downzoning that’s not requested,” County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Seay Giles responded.

“I know we can’t do it without the property owner requesting it,” Allen said. “But I just think we’re just rezoning these … tracts, and then having M-2 surround them. I just have some issues with that. I don’t think it’s good land management myself personally.”

Chairman William Burger said he did not have qualms about rezoning the five parcels, but noted the lack of industrially-zoned property in the county and expressed reservation if, in the future, the M-2 property is proposed to be rezoned back to A-2.

“I have no problem with rezoning these back to A-2,” Burger said. “What I do have a problem with, however, is taking the rest of them out of A-2. We don’t have many manufacturing areas as it is.”

Burger, Vice-Chair Randy Bryant, District Two commissioner Stephen Donahue, At-large commissioner Leo Henderson, District Five commissioner Roland Gilliam and At-large commissioner William voted to approve the rezoning. Allen voted in opposition.