Mayor breaks Winston-Salem City Council tie vote on Ardmore rezoning issue

Supporters of a rezoning request in Ardmore wear orange buttons in the City Council chambers on Monday. Photo by Todd Luck

Mayor breaks Winston-Salem City Council tie vote on Ardmore rezoning issue
June 07
13:20 2018

A divisive rezoning in the Ardmore Neighborhood resulted in a rare tie vote at the Winston-Salem City Council meeting on Monday, May 4.

The dispute was over an eight-acre piece of land that used to be a goat farm at the intersection of Silas Creek Parkway and Ebert Street. The rezoning would’ve allowed for a development with 32 townhouses and two buildings for doctors offices that would’ve faced Silas Creek Parkway. Proponents said that it was a good use of the vacant property and that the residential-style office buildings would act as a good buffer to the traffic of Silas Creek and would only be a onetime exception to area plans that called for residential use of that property. Opponents, including the Ardmore Neighborhood Association, objected because of increased traffic concerns and the fear of encroachment of business zoning into the residential area.

The item, which was approved by the City/County Planning Board and recommended by staff, was continued from last months’ City Council meeting. In that meeting, Southwest Ward City Council Member Dan Besse, who represents the area, planned to vote against it since he’d heard mostly opposition to the proposal. Supporters, wearing large orange buttons, filled the room at that meeting and caused several council members to oppose Besse’s motion, so he continued the item to this week.

In Monday’s meeting, Besse said he’d still heard mostly opposition and still planned to vote against it. This time, both the City Council chamber and committee room where filled beyond capacity with supporters, who wore orange buttons, and opponents, who carried red plates. City Council Members Vivian Burke, Robert Clark, Jeff MacIntosh and Denise “DD” Adams all voted to support the project. Council Members James Taylor, Derwin Montgomery and John Larson sided with Besse for a tie vote.

Mayor Allen Joines, who only votes when there’s a tie, said that he was impressed by the hard work of the developer, but sided with Besse and denied the zoning request.

“I try to typically support the representative of the ward who lives there and represents the folks every day,” said Joines.

Also during the meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to amend the East End Development Agreement between the city and S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation. It’ll give the CDC up to $3 million from 2014 general obligation bonds to acquire commercial properties for redevelopment in the area bounded by Business 40, U.S. 52 and Martin Luther King Drive in order to create jobs and stimulate development in that area.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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