Planning Commission Approves Site Plan for New Glenwood South Addition

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A tiny piece of property on the corner of Glenwood Avenue and West Johnson Street could soon be the future home a new bar in Raleigh.

The Planning Commission Tuesday approved the site plan for 603 Glenwood Avenue. (SP-52-11) The property owner plans to convert an existing home into a nightclub with outdoor seating.

Much of the commission’s discussion about the property revolved around landscaping and a pecan tree. Representatives for the property owner said because of the small size of the lot, it was virtually impossible to save the tree and its root system.

The property owner plans to plant large maples and install along the rear of the property, which is adjacent to an apartment building.

In other business, the commission approved a change that could impact the revitalization of Blount Street.

The commission voted to amend the height limit in the North Blount Street Master Plan, but not before two hours of debate.

The North Blount Street Master Plan is a revitalization plan for six blocks south of Peace Street and east of Wilmington Street. Under city ordinances, developers can create a master plan with codes and restrictions that it must follow. Small changes can be made by staff and larger changes can be made by the Planning Commission.

Part of the long debate was whether the Planning Commission has the authority to make height changes in this master plan.

One block of the four-block project has varying height limits: 75, 50 and 45 feet. The developers requested the Planning Commission allow for a change that would make a uniform height limit of 62 feet.

Representatives of the developer said the increase in height will increase the intensity of the development and would need approval by the commission. Despite the increase in intensity, the developer said that it would not increase the total number of car trips that was listed in the master plan.

City staff believed that provisions in the master plan kept the commission from approving the change and that the increase in height doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in intensity.

Commissioners agreed in a 7-1 vote that they have the authority to make the change. They then unanimously decided the developer could change the height limits provided that it submit a site plan that would otherwise be approved by the commission.

North Carolina Rate Bureau (SP-37-11)
The Commission also approved a site plan for a two-story, 26,000-square-foot office building to be built on a 3.3-acre piece of property on the corner of Sumner Boulevard and Old Wake Forest Road.

The property’s developers are including 123 parking spaces — significantly more than the 88 required by code. Some members of the Planning Commission questioned the excessive amount of excess parking.

Representatives for the developer said that while there are 90 permanent employees, there are three boards that will be meeting at the building and the parking is to accommodate the increased need created by those visiting board members. The developer said that the 3.3 spaces required by the city are not enough to meet the demands of the building.