Rezoning request approved

Published 9:19 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

MURFREESBORO — Chowan University is making its growth known in Murfreesboro by rezoning 16 parcels of land already owned by the higher educational institution.

Last week, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved the rezoning of the parcels scattered near the university from residential to office and institutional.

Chuck Revelle, general counsel for Chowan University, said the parcels include the Jenkins Center property along Lakeview Drive and the street connecting that property to the main campus, vacant lots along High Street at the entrance of to campus, residential houses and parking lots along Union Street, one residence on South Fourth Street and a vacant property in between Union and South Fourth Street.

“Most of them have been owned by Chowan University for a long time,” he said.

Revelle said the reason for the request to rezone the properties all at the same time was to “clean up some things that should have been done years ago to make it office and institution.”

“This has certainly been precipitated by a good thing, and that is currently increased enrollment at Chowan University and the need for more housing for students,” he said. “(The university) has record enrollment and they need a place for these students to go.”

Revelle noted the homes that will be used for student housing in the immediate future are being used for upperclassmen who have demonstrated good character, integrity, academic achievement, and have been good citizens of the campus.

Mayor Pro-Tempore Sarah Wallace questioned if the change from residential to office and institutional would affect the tax value of the properties.

“It should not affect the value, because they are adjoining to the campus and they will be applied for as a part of campus and exempt,” said Revelle. “Of course, the properties not adjoining campus can’t get that.”

Murfreesboro Planning Chairman Hal Thomas said when the request came before the board it was favorable to recommending rezoning to relieve some issues that are now affecting Chowan for non-compliance with current regulations.

“This will cure that problem,” he said.

Councilman Lloyd Hill moved to approve the rezoning of the properties. Councilman Billy Theodorakis offered a second and the motion passed without objection.

In other planning and zoning news, the Murfreesboro Town Council also approved a conditional use permit for Jochen Kunstler and Barn Films LLC. Kunstler plans to partner with the Murfreesboro Historical Association in the use and operation of the Historic Gift Shop located on Williams Street. The shop will also house Barn Films LLC.