Citizens have a chance to weigh in on a rezoning proposal Thursday night during a public hearing before the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
The hearing, to be held during a 7 p.m. meeting of the board at the Municipal Building, involves plans for a flea market on a 16-acre site owned by Grayson Vaughn at 2167 S. Andy Griffith Parkway (U.S. 52).
Vaughn has said a mobile home business that was at the site closed before its lease was up, creating the desire for a replacement use to generate needed revenue. He decided on an outdoor “family flea market” that is expected to contain about 100 display tables and a parking area on property that borders Emmanuel Church Trail.
However, since flea markets are not allowed in the B-4 (Highway Business) zone that now encompasses the area in question, the property owner is seeking to have its zoning changed to conditional M-1 (Industrial) — where such establishments are permitted.
The location is just south of the municipality along U.S. 52, and though it is outside Mount Airy it is within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) zone, a one-mile section surrounding the city where property is subject to its zoning regulations.
Vaughn has indicated that he will not seek annexation of the site.
While the Mount Airy Planning Board was in favor of the rezoning request during a March 26 meeting of that group, some concern was exhibited by neighboring landowners.
“The people that came to the meeting live adjacent to the northern end of that property,” Emily Hines, a senior planner in the Mount Airy Planning Department, said of the land owned by the petitioner. That section is “basically residential and undeveloped,” Hines explained.
“There is concern about what potentially would be done on those properties,” she added of the parcels collectively owned by Vaughn.
To allow Vaughn to realize revenue from his site and also alleviate the neighbors’ concerns, the Planning Board’s recommendation reflects a compromise. As explained by Hines, it would allow the property that already has been used commercially to accommodate the flea market, while leaving the open land between it and the neighbors undisturbed.
The only “real change” would be the actual use of that property, the planner said, adding that this seemed to please the other landowners.
Though the rezoning is sought for the whole 16 acre-tract, the flea market would be developed on a smaller portion, based on city documents and discussion at the commissioners’ last meeting when they voted to set this week’s public hearing.
At that meeting on April 5, Commissioner Shirley Brinkley questioned Vaughn about the visibility of the flea market from U.S. 52 and her concerns about potential littering problems there.
The property owner replied that the market would not be seen from the major thoroughfare and that he always has endeavored to keep the site “immaculate.”
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.