City vs County

The N&R reports that the less-than-year-old Greensboro Neighborhood Congress (GNC) is making it’s first foray into local politics.  The GNC is an alliance of neighborhood associations that was formed to present a unified voice that seeks to improve the quality of life within the City of Greensboro” according to the group’s mission statement.

At issue is a 7-0 land use decision made by the County’s Planning Board on March 10th that effectively negates a Nov. 2003 decision by the Greensboro City Council.  That contentious Council decision designated sections of the still-under-construction urban loop (Painter Boulevard) that lie within the City limits as a “scenic corridor”. This designation restricts the placement of billboards along its path among other things.  Problem is, large segments of Painter Boulevard are under the County’s jurisdiction.

The GNC’s challenge of the Zoning Board’s decision forces the County Commissioners to make the final decision on the re-zoning of county resident Pat Short’s property.  This decision could be a defining one for inter-governmental cooperation efforts in Guilford County because Short’s property, although not in the Greensboro City limits, is slated to be annexed by the City in the forseeable future.  Once annexed the property would fall under the City’s more restrictive “scenic corridor” designation that limits billboard placement, but by then the damage will have already been done to the City’s efforts.

How the County Commission will respond to an upstart group of Greensboro residents is anyone’s guess.  Chairman Bob Landreth is keeping an open mind, “… I will have to wait until I hear all the arguments until I make a decision... “.  Not so for Billy Yow, “If anybody out there has a problem with what he’s doing, then what they need to do is go to the bank, get out their money and come down there and buy it from him“.

This Commissioner decision will be instructive of a lot of things.

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