Raleigh’s Oakwood voicing concerns over rezoning

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A historic neighborhood is voicing its concerns as Raleigh plans to rezone 30 percent of the city.

Residents of the Historic Oakwood neighborhood are worried the city’s planned rezoning could lead to bars in the area.

See if you are affected by proposed rezoning

Oakwood resident Matthew Brown has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 30 years.

“Everybody here cares for their houses and wants to preserve them,” Brown said.

Brown can’t imagine living anywhere other than the historic neighborhood but he’s concerned how proposed zoning changes could affect his community.

“When so much of the city is rezoned at once, it’s impossible for staff or residents to pay close attention to each change,” Brown said.

Oakwood homeowner Paula Huot is worried the rezoning could lead to taller structures, possibly even the creation of bars and nightclubs.

“When they start encroaching, that gives me a lot of pause,” Huot said. “All of that will impinge upon the residential and the historic character of the neighborhood.”

Ken Bowers, Raleigh’s city planning director, said the discussion over rezoning isn’t over.

“That’s obviously a council decision, but we can put an alternative in front of council to address that concern,” Bowers said.

The public still has time to weigh in on the issue but for Huot, she said she’s out if Oakwood changes.

“I’m gone. I don’t want a bar 100 feet from me,” she said.

There is a public hearing on the rezoning July 21 and then it will be up to the Raleigh City Council.

There is no timetable on the city council’s decision.

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