Planners back industrial park

Mar. 28, 2013 @ 04:53 PM

The High Point Planning and Zoning Commission has given its OK to a rezoning case involving a proposed industrial park.
By a 4-3 vote, the commission on Tuesday issued a favorable recommendation for a request by Greensboro-based 350 South Land Holdings to rezone about 510 acres south of Interstate 40 and west of Sandy Ridge Road to allow for a business park.
Commissioners Mark Walsh, John McKenzie, Marie Stone and Ed Spivey voted in favor, while Cynthia Davis, Ozzie Hough and Carson Lomax opposed the request. Commissioners Andrew Putnam and Martha Shepherd were absent.
The case is slated to go before the High Point City Council April 15.
Led by Greensboro developer D.H. Griffin Sr., 350 South wants to use the site – located between the city limits and Interstate 40 – to draw office parks, corporate headquarters and light industrial and commercial uses.
The property is in unincorporated Guilford County but is within territory that has been designated for annexation by High Point under agreements the city has with Kernersville and Greensboro.
The council approved annexation of the land last fall, contingent on a development agreement being reached between the city and 350 South. Developers also were required to secure an additional 79 acres along the west side of Sandy Ridge Road to provide transportation access to the first phase of the park. The acreage was acquired in December and details of a development agreement are being worked out with the city. The original idea called for the city to commit to financing all of the water, sewer and street improvements that might be needed for the entire development over the next 10 to 20 years, which would have obligated the city to spend more than $10 million.
Since then, city officials have negotiated a tentative arrangement that calls for the developers to fund the bulk of the infrastructure, with the city’s exposure limited to $1 million to $1.5 million of water and sewer improvements for phase one.
If the council approves the rezoning and development agreement, annexation of the site would take effect May 19.
Walsh made a motion to recommend approval of the rezoning, provided that 350 South representatives meet with city transportation officials to address traffic concerns associated with the project prior to the April 15 council meeting.
Residents who live near the site have voiced concerns about traffic impact from an industrial park on the area’s rural roads.
Boylston Road resident Todd Smith told the board that he believes the developers’ analysis of the traffic impact from the project focused too much on Sandy Ridge Road, when other routes, such as Boylston and Adkins roads, would see major traffic increases from an industrial park.
“There are a number of blighted areas within the existing city limits of High Point that would be well-suited for this type of economic development without disrupting a residential area that already enjoys a quality of life and tranquility,” Smith said.