Developers are seeking zoning for high-density residential development in the area of Red Oak Manner between Dickinson Avenue and Manning Forest Drive, above.

Opponents say traffic problems will worsen and property values will drop if city officials OK a proposed high-density zoning request for an area off Dickinson Avenue.

The Greenville Planning and Zoning Commission will reconvene at 6 p.m. Thursday to vote on the request and several other items. The meeting will be broadcast on Suddenlink channel 9 and on the city’s website,

A nearly year-old limited liability company, 4 Life Properties, whose registered agent is Christian E. Porter, requested that 5.7 acres of vacant land between Dickinson Avenue and the end of Manning Forest Drive be rezoned from residential agricultural to residential-high density.

That zoning designation allows for the construction of duplexes and townhouses which are already built in the area, along with several single-family homes.

Chief Planner Chantae Gooby said staff recommends the rezoning request.

Gooby said under the current residential-agricultural zoning, 12 single-family homes could be built on the property. The residential-high density designation would allow for 65-multi-family units, she said.

Currently, Brook Hollow, a duplex development is nearby off Dickinson Avenue and Manning Forest Townhomes is built around Manning Forest Drive.

The property is in the Green Mill Run watershed and has a stream and riparian buffer along the property line. The 25-year storm detention device will be required, Gooby said.

A net increase of 367 new trips could be produced if the property is developed under the residential-high density designation.

An additional high-density development would put further strain on Dickinson Avenue and Williams Road, Chip and Sheila Pearsall wrote in a letter opposing the rezoning.

“I'm told that for many years, Williams was a quiet country back road, but since development of nearby neighborhoods over the past 20 years, it has become a popular cut-through for traffic on the major thoroughfares of Greenville Boulevard and Dickinson Avenue. Another development with direct access to it would further strain an already overburdened road,” the Pearsalls wrote.

Leslie Cobb wrote that along with adding more traffic to overburden roads, noise pollution would get worse.

She said high-density developments attract only short-term occupants. The high-turnover increases the wear on a building which eventually drives down its value and the values of surrounding properties.

The developers should build a neighborhood that attracts medical professionals.

Rita Bowden, who identified herself as a property owner in the Brook Hollow duplex development, also expressed worries about traffic congestion and property values.

Engineer Bryan Fagundus, speaking on behalf the applicant, said no development plans have been drawn up for the property.

“We are in conformance with the surrounding land uses,” Fagundus said. “I completely understand some of the concerns that were expressed.”

Issues surrounding traffic control, buffering between properties and other matters associated with the development will be mitigated, he said.

Fencing standards

One planning commission member said he does not support staff’s request to create a definition and standards for residential and non-residential fences.

“I’m all for labeling what a fence is and people calling and asking where they need to go, where they can’t go,” commissioner member Max Joyner III said. He has sought the planning department’s advice on locating fences and has called about fences he believes were a nuisance.

“I just don’t know if trying to tell them how tall and wide is something the city needs to get into,” Joyner said.

Gooby said staff is recommending adding definition and standards for residential and nonresidential fences because code enforcement is having difficulties enforcing building codes and resolving nuisance complaints.

“We have folks we get extremely creative” in their definition of fencing, she said.

“It’s hard to call something a fence or say it isn’t a fence when we didn’t even have a definition … this is just a way of giving us clarity, as staff, when dealing with folks about what is acceptable and what is not,” Gooby said.

The department gets calls several times a week from people wanting to know what a fence is and where it should go.

The board will vote on proposed guidelines under which a fence would be defined as “an artificially constructed barrier of wood, masonry, stone, wire, metal or other manufactured material or combination of materials, not to include any portion of a building, enclosing an area of ground to mark a boundary, control assess, enclose, screen or separate areas.”

A residential fence would be a maximum of 6 feet in the front and 8 feet along the sides and rear; a nonresidential fence could be a maximum of 8 feet in front and 10-feet along the sides and rear.

Chain-link or woven-wire fencing would only be allowed along the sides and rear. Barbed wire would only be allowed at a “bona fide” agricultural operation.

The proposal states that fencing cannot be placed on the public right of way and entry gates can’t swing into the road.

A nuisance fence would be neglected, in disrepair or is built or placed in a location where it becomes a hazard or endangers people, animals or property.

Other items

  • The state of North Carolina, through East Carolina University, is seeking a preliminary plat for property located near the northeastern corner of the intersection of West 10th Street and CSX Railroad. The property is where ECU and Elliott Sidewalk Communities plan to develop space for research, offices, businesses and residential areas.
  • Rocky Russell Development requested preliminary plat approval for a duplex development called “Kadie Farms” located along the southern right-of-way of Southwest Greenville Boulevard and adjacent to the People’s Baptist Church. The proposed plat consists of 52 duplex lots, totally 104 units, on 23 acres.

Contact Ginger Livingston at or 252-329-9570.