Saturday, September 25, 2010

Update: Appeal not filed for upcoming Greensboro City Council mtg, re: Zoning Commission's rejection of applicant's rezoning request for Friendly-Holden corner

Letter from committee organizers posted at the website:

Friday, September 24th

Dear Neighbors:

Good News! An appeal was not filed by the deadline yesterday for the rezoning at the corner of Holden Road and Friendly Avenue!

The neighborhood involvement and support to deny this rezoning has been phenomenal. Each of you have helped preserve the integrity and quality of life for Hamilton Lakes, Starmount Forest and to make Greensboro a stronger community due to your citizen involvement.

You should now remove your yard signs and keep them in storage, if needed in the future.

Thanks to everyone again!

Betty and Alan Atwell
Co-Chairs for
Save Our Neighborhoods

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zoning Commission votes 7-1 to reject rezoning request at Friendly-Holden corner

Congratulations to all presenters from the No Rezoning committee on your professional, succinct and persuasive arguments! Well said. Well done. Many thanks!

And thank you Greensboro Zoning Commission for your wisdom and foresight.

more details on the meeting later ...

[It was ironic, if not bizarre, that representation for the property owner scoffed at our group's firmly held belief that this rezoning would have a domino effect in our neighborhood, while in the next breath they argued the presence of other nearby office buildings helps justify the rezoning of this property. We were even told to "look in the Yellow Pages, the Junior League is listed as an 'office'."]

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Be there or be square [a 50-ft-tall square w/lots of parking]

Please attend:
Greensboro Zoning Commission Meeting
At the City Council Chambers in the Melvin Municipal Office complex downtown
Monday, Sept 13
Meeting starts at 5:30PM sharp.
Arrive by 5 or 5:15PM
Directions & address, Melvin Municipal Offc Bldg
Enter on the Greene Street side of the office complex
A downtown Greensboro parking map

Why should you attend?
Please read this email excerpt from the Atwells, Save Our Neighborhoods/Starmount Forest-Hamilton Lakes committee organizers:

[Dentist Luke Johnson and his attorney Henry Isaacson have] unfortunately filed an INCOMPATIBLE PLAN for our neighborhoods.

The "predominantly residential use" [cited in a letter we received from Henry Isaacson] is a condo building for which there are no specific plans ... with no information regarding size, number of units, etc.

Dr. Johnson said he has no plans to build the condo unit any time in the near future, just [a large] office building on the corner. You need to understand that [once he obtains] the Zoning Classification he wants, CD-GO-M, it allows for many other uses and structures.


Mr. Isaacson is "saddened" that the folks who live in this area won't "compromise" and allow commercial rezoning in their neighborhood. I am saddened Dr. Johnson is not seeking to rezone Mr. Isaacson's residential neighborhood, instead.

What's next if Dr. Johnson gets to set this commercial-rezoning precedent in Starmount Forest-Hamilton Lakes?

If you live on Edgewater Dr. backing up to the houses on Friendly--expect the next rezoning battle to be in your backyard. After that Green Valley will get commercially developed, and of course up and down Holden Ave.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If I were a commercial developer

I'd be watching that rezoning battle at the corner of Friendly & Holden in Hamilton Lakes very closely. When the property classification changes from residential to commercial zoning--I'd start buying up homes in Hamilton Lakes/Starmount on Holden, Market, Friendly, Green Valley. I would turn the homes into rentals until my parcel was big enough to build ...
one of these
or this--minus the palm tree
Or an apartment building or condominium complex.

Our neighborhood's proximity to Friendly Shopping Center makes it a desirable target of commercial development.

Kotis Properties advertises its mostly empty property on Market Street this way: "CLOSEST BIG BOX SPACE TO FRIENDLY CENTER"

The listing broker for 1410 Westover Terrace, Greensboro, NC, headlines this commercial property listing with "LIFESTYLE CENTER NEAR FRIENDLY CENTER."

If we rezone, they will come.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Consensus: Stand strong against commercial rezoning at the SW corner of Friendly and Holden

Dr. Luke Johnson is now proposing the same classification of commercial zoning for the single-family-residential lot at the corner of Friendly and Holden Aves., but has redrawn his proposed building plans. They include a 12,000 square foot 2-story office building at the corner where the house currently sits. [[Think 50 feet tall.] The "2nd phase" of proposed construction would be/might be condos running along Holden. That phase is a sketchy rendering. Once the rezoning to commercial is in place--there is always the possibility that the landowner will request approval of different plans/uses for the property. More details available at

The 66 attendees of the No Rezoning meeting on Sunday afternoon unanimously agreed not to compromise in the fight to prevent commercial incursion onto the south side of Friendly.

Pricey Harrison, our state house rep attended the meeting and briefly voiced her support. Jon Hardister, who is opposing Harrison in the fall, has sent out a letter of support to those fighting this commercial rezoning.

Valerie Stern, who headed up the last battle against commercial rezoning within our residential neighborhood at the corner of Green Valley and Friendly, urged our group to stand strong--"you can win this."

Long-time Greensboro Mayor Keith Holliday stood up from the audience and warned that approval of this commercial rezoning would "not be the end of something, but the beginning." Make no mistake, many eyes in this town are trained on what happens at this corner, he said. [He meant, many eyes in the commercial development community.]

There are more No Rezoning signs available for $10 each. We are hoping to see even more neighbors with signs up as the Sep 13 Zoning Commission meeting approaches. And please write to Zoning Commission members and Town Council members. Note: there are 3 new zoning commission members that need to hear from you. Please visit for the updated list & contact info.

If you live on Madison, Homewood, Wedgewood, Dogwood, Kirby, Mistletoe, Edgewater, the Avondales, etc. -- please consider posting a sign to show solidarity. We will all be affected--quality of life, traffic and safety, property values and comparables.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reminder: Meeting is today, Sunday Aug 29, to see revised plans

An email from the organizers:

Reminder of the No Rezoning meeting today, Sunday 3:00PM @ First Lutheran Church on Friendly, to review the revised plans--they are quite different but still call for business zoning.

There will be a sign-up sheet for all in attendance to show numbers of concerned neighbors--to both the attorney and zoning commissioners.

See you there.

Betty & Alan Atwell

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plan on attending, this Sunday at 3PM

Organizers sent this email today ...
Wednesday, August 25th

Dear Concerned Neighbors,

There will be a neighborhood meeting this Sunday, August 29th at 3:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the First Lutheran Church at 3600 W. Friendly Avenue (one block from the corner of Holden and Friendly).

As you know, the Zoning Hearing on July 12th was continued until September 13th as the petitioners were aware of the neighbors concerns and wanted to revisit their plans. The committee has been advised of their revised plans and would like to share them with you at this meeting.

We urge everyone to please come to this meeting so that you may be well informed for the zoning hearing on Monday, September 13th. We also urge everyone to attend the zoning hearing at 5:30 in the Governmental Bldg. in the City Council Chambers. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE HAVE A STRONG REPRESENTATION FROM THE COMMUNITY!!!!

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday afternoon.

P.S. Also we have a few yard signs left if anyone is interested or if yours has been stolen and not replaced. Call 292-9587.

Betty and Alan Atwell
Co-Chairs of Save Our Neighborhoods

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hamilton Lakes Neighborhood Assn board seeks to preserve beauty of HL, opposes rezoning request

In its summer 2010 bulletin, the Hamilton Lakes and Parks Neighborhood Assn. announced its board "unanimously agreed that it will be the policy and practice of the HLP Board to oppose non-residential zoning in the old town limits of the Town of Hamilton Lakes."

Furthermore, "the Board intends to advise the Zoning Commission of its position on the pending zoning request. The Board encourages its members and area residents to make their opinions known to the HLP Board and the Greensboro Zoning Commission."

The Hamilton Lakes neighborhood is composed of about 1,900 homes and is bounded by Green Valley Rd to the East, Friendly Ave. to the North, Market St. to the South and Henderson and Staunton to the West. The neighborhood was once the town of "Hamilton Lakes," until it was annexed by the city of Greensboro in 1957. But its treed beauty and reputation as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Greensboro was protected by a moratorium on any rezoning within its borders for 50 years. That protection expired in 2007.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Zoning Commission to hear rezoning request for Friendly/Holden corner Sept 13, 5:30PM; City Council Chambers

Keep your yards signs up & fingers crossed.

Go to official website for details.

Monday, July 12, 2010

News & Record: city staff say rezoning would set precedent, recommend denying rezoning request

I was wondering what prompted the landowner/investor and his lawyer to decide to pursue a continuance till September on a rezoning request allowing them to erect 50-foot tall commercial buildings on a residential plot. Now I understand ...

Amanda Lehmert reports on the rezoning fight at the corner of Friendly & Holden in today's News & Record, "Friendly, Holden corner at issue in rezoning tiff."
The city staff agreed. They said converting the land to commercial may set a precedent for other commercial conversions on that side of Friendly Avenue ... The staff recommended the zoning commission deny the rezoning request.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Go to the official No Rezoning Starmount Forest/Hamilton Lakes website

For a complete explanation and photography of the current proposed rezoning situation and how it could adversely affect our community, visit this page of the official website

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dr. Johnson to seek 60-day continuance at July 12 zoning commission meeting

No Rezoning Starmount Forest/Hamilton Lakes was notified that Dr.William Luke Johnson's lawyer, Henry Isaacson of Isaacson Isaacson Sheridan & Fountain, plans to file for a 60-day continuance at the upcoming Greensboro zoning commission meeting on July 12.

Dr. Johnson is requesting that a parcel of land he owns at the corner of Friendly Ave and Holden Rd be rezoned from residential to general office. He plans to build a row of office buildings there, one of which will house his dental practice, another a bank, etc.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Warning: All yard signs must be at least 5 - 10 feet in from the curb

I guess someone is pulling strings at City Hall?

Our group has been informed that if our yard signs impinge on the city's right of way--which is the stretch of ground that reaches 5 to 10 feet in from the curb, they will be removed.

So, move your signs in 10 feet from the curb--to be safe, or the city will have them removed. [I wonder who's volunteering for that duty? Hmmm.]

See what the proposed strip of office buildings looks like

Go to the Fox8 news video here if you'd like to see the strip of tall buildings with surrounding blacktop that Dr. Luke Johnson, a local dentist, is proposing for the lot he owns at the Friendly/Holden corner.

He is being represented by high-powered and influential local attorney Henry Isaacson.

Contact the members of the Greensboro Zoning Commission prior to the July 12 session

Please contact the members of the Greensboro Zoning Commission individually to voice your concerns. I was told they prefer to receive email messages, versus phone calls or letters. Email addresses are available at the official No Rezoning Starmount Forest/Hamilton Lakes Neighborhood website.
Commission Members:

Raymond Trapp, Chairman
1405 Huffine Mill Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27405

Kevin Wright, Vice-Chairman
5805 Watercrest Dr.
Greensboro, NC 27407

Susan G. Spangler
111 Kemp Rd. East
Greensboro, NC 27410

Evelyn Miller
3203-D Cypress Park Road
Greensboro, NC 27407

Patti M. Eckard
2621 Beechwood St.
Greensboro, NC 27403

Cyndy Hayworth
3220 Northline Ave.
Greensboro, NC 27408

David Kinser
4702 Friars Lane
Greensboro, NC 27455

Ralph Johnson
2402 Bothwell St.
Greensboro, NC 27401

Mary Skenes
404 Beverly Place
Greensboro, NC 27403

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mark your calendar for the July 12 meeting of the Greensboro zoning commission

... at the Greensboro City Council Chambers.

Meeting begins at 5:30PM.

Directions/location here.

The corner of Friendly & Holden

The struggle continues to prevent office buildings and strip malls from lining the south side of Friendly Avenue in the vicinity of Friendly Center.

The latest is a pending request to rezone the corner of Friendly Avenue and Holden from single family to general office. Technical name is "Conditional District-General Office-Moderate Intensity."

Let's protect the quality of life for all residents of Starmount Forest /Hamilton Lakes. If that corner is rezoned to general office, expect to see a domino effect along Friendly Avenue.

Office buildings encroaching upon a beautiful old neighborhood--when this part of town has a glut of unoccupied office space. Why?

Get on the mailing list and take action to stop this:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

July 23 Update distributed by Save Our Neighborhoods

Save Our Neighborhoods

Starmount Forest

July 19, 2007 Update

This is a summary of the latest information regarding the rezoning at the corner of West Friendly and Green Valley Road.

  1. In May 2007, the Starmount Company moved forward with a proposal that would dedicate a portion of the land to include the existing structure and grounds for the permanent offices of the Junior League and the remaining portion to be held in perpetuity by the City of Greensboro and/or such other land preservation agency for a public park or open space.

2.On July 11, 2007, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously in favor of accepting the land donation for use as a park with the name Blanche Benjamin Sternberger. Many members of our neighborhood committee attended the meeting, and we expressed unanimous support for the proposal.

  1. Next: The Junior League will accept the gift of house and land. They will likely request a rezoning in September to allow office use, and then begin renovations.

The park proposal and rezoning must be accepted by City Council, and this could possibly happen in October.

Our neighborhood must stay informed.

We have hired an attorney to assist with remaining items:

  • Some conditions of the proposal should be included in the deed:

1. The Junior League could, in time, sell their property but only to a successor non-profit, which would be a like non-profit. The deed would include language to insure this.

2. The proposed park will be "passive park”, as defined by the Parks and Recreation Department. This passive park wording will be indicated in the deed.

  • Our attorney will request and review all documents from Starmount Company.
  • We would also like to review plans for the Junior League driveway, parking lot, and lighting.

Our legal fund still needs donations.

We are thankful to Starmount Company for their generous donation and remain very hopeful for a positive outcome. However, we want to insure the proposal goes as planned, especially as it pertains to the legal documents. We will remain intact and diligent as long as necessary.

Many thanks to those who have already donated! Over the past few months, our committee collected about $5800 toward legal and other expenses. We have approximately $2000 remaining in the account.

- -

Please consider a donation to insure that we save our neighborhoods.

There is more work to do, and we need donations to make it happen. We have set up a bank account in the name of “Save Our Neighborhoods – Starmount Forest.” Donations can be mailed to either Jay Harris (215 Homewood Avenue) or Nancy Deaton (3002 Madison Avenue).

Please make a donation today. Your check will be your receipt. Cash should be hand delivered, and you will receive a written receipt.

All contributions are confidential.

Thank you for your continued support.


Save our Neighborhoods Committee

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Looks as though one small patch of green in Greensboro may be saved from the chainsaw

Starmount park gets go-ahead, reports the News & Record today. The Parks & Rec Comm approved plans last night to create a park. It's the first step. Zoning comm and city council will need to approve the plans this fall in order for the project to move forward.

It's too bad the adjacent site where the Junior League will reside is going to get rezoning for commercial use. I think it's a bad precedent and wonder what type of commercial development we'll be battling next . . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

'Starmount’s plans for park gain allies'

There is a meeting tonight of the city's Parks & Rec Committee, reports Michelle Jarboe in today's News & Record today, and Ron Wilson of Starmount Co will present plans to turn the 6 acres at the corner of Friendly and Green Valley--the "overgrown land" as Jarboe describes it--into a park. [I prefer to consider the patch "untouched," a natural screen. "Overgrown" implies that trees and undergrowth are somehow out of place in Greensboro!?