Planners give thumbs down to business park for Northwest High Point

Nov. 14, 2012 @ 10:01 PM

City officials may have to delay progress on a potential industrial park planned for northwest High Point.
The High Point Planning and Zoning Commission this week recommended against the rezoning of about 431 acres from agricultural and light industrial to a planned use development district, or “floating district.” Planners recommended denial on a 6-2 vote, with commissioners Jim Davis and Mark Walsh dissenting.
The planning commission only makes recommendations in city zoning cases. The final decision lies in the hands of the High Point City Council, which first must approve a request for voluntary annexation regarding the property. The council is expected to take up the matter at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at High Point City Hall.
The property lies south of Interstate 40, west of Sandy Ridge Road, north of Boylston Road and east of Bunker Hill Road. The park, being called High Point North Industrial Center, would be the largest rezoning and annexation proposal High Point has seen in 25 years.
D.H. Griffin, owner of 350 South Land Holdings, was in attendance at the meeting and was being represented by Tom Terrell, a lawyer with Smith Moore Leatherwood.
“There aren’t many large tracts available in the orbit of High Point that can be developed into business parks like this. This is 431 acres of ideally situated property,” Terrell said. “This is an area that makes sense for this type of park. There are companies that we are in conversations with and it creates difficulties if we have to wait.”
Neighbors of the proposed park came to speak during the public comment period of the meeting, many against the proposal.
“I am in strong opposition of this development,” said nearby Colfax resident Todd Smith. “One reason is that I feel that it would disrupt the rural setting that is enjoyed by the residential homeowners like myself.”
Smith also was concerned about traffic in the area, including truck traffic once the park is developed.
James Hedgecock, one of the landowners for the property, said he has been approached about his land by several developers for several years, but spoke in favor of Griffin and 350 Land Holding because he said he believes Griffin is the right person to develop the land.
“Progress is going to come,” Hedgecock said. “I’ve known (Griffin) for 50 years, and I wanted a person that was conscientious and cared about this land, and David (Griffin) does.
Several other residents spoke in opposition of the rezoning, some because of what they considered a lack of communication on the part of the city and others because of confusion on how the property could be rezoned before being annexed.