White Oak rezoning approved

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GATESVILLE – An old shopping center along US 158 may experience a rebirth.

At their most recent meeting, the Gates County Board of Commissioners agreed to allow a parcel of land to be rezoned from A-1 (Agricultural) to C-1 (Commercial).

Lisa Cherry, Gates County’s Planning Director, identified the property as 1.41 acres located at 1120 US 158 West, near White Oak Road. It was previously known as the White Oak Shopping Center and was once the home of the White Oak Service Center / Appliance Center.

Cherry added that the Gates County Planning Board, at its April 19 meeting, voted 7-0 in favor of recommending approval of the rezoning request to the board of commissioners. The Planning Board noted that the property is located along a major roadway and would meet the purpose and intent of the county’s Commercial District requirements.

The current owners of the property are Walter and Renee Rodan, whose residential address is listed on Main Street in Gatesville.

“From what I understand this property has a lot of history, once as a commercial property,” said Cherry.

“It (the building on the propery) has fallen into disrepair,” stated Mr. Rodan. “I have to put money in to it. I wanted to see if I could get it zoned commercial because that would determine how much money I put into [repairs) the building.”

Rodan, who said he is in the construction business, added that he currently uses the building for storage.

“It needs a new roof and other repairs,” he noted. “If I put that type of money into it, at some point I need to look into renting it out.”

Anne Howell took part in the public hearing, telling the commissioners that this particular parcel adjoins her property.

“I’ve been there for 70 years and I’d be happy to see something done with that building,” Howell remarked. “There’s a lot of memories there for me. I remember the original building burning at three or four o’clock in the morning. That was the reason for the original owner (Mr. Harrell) dying. He had a heart attack when that building burned.”

Howell said she was puzzled as to why the property is currently zoned as Agricultural.

“There’s nothing there but a building and a parking lot; there can be no agriculture on that part,” she stressed. “Somewhere along the line, something slipped through the [zoning] cracks, but I would be happy to see it listed as commercial.”

At the close of the public hearing, Commissioner Linda Hofler motioned to approve the rezoning request. Commissioner Ray Freeman offered a second and the motion carried without objection.

“We’ll be watching to see what happens there,” said Holfer following the favorable vote.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal