Smithfield Town Council Approves 1 Of 2 Rezoning Requests

The Town of Smithfield approved one of two rezoning requests from a local businessman on March 6th.

Frank Lee requested 4 tracts of land on Buffalo Road and two tracts of land on Brogden Road be rezoned by the Smithfield Town Council.

Lee, being represented by retired Smithfield Planning Director Paul Embler, requested 4 adjacent parcels of land on Buffalo Road just south of Booker Dairy Road and across from Smithfield Middle School being rezoned from a residential to a business zoning classification.

Embler said Lee had an option to purchase the 4 tracts of land from the current owners that combined totaled about 6.8 acres.  The property is also adjacent to Smithfield Community Park to the east.

The town board questioned what potential use Mr. Lee might have for the property. Embler said there was no current intended use for the property but it would need to be rezoned to be developed.

The Smithfield Planning Board and the Planning Department both recommended the rezoning be denied saying it was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.  The Town Council agreed with the Planning Board and in a  5-to-2 vote rejected the rezoning in part because of no specific development plans being submitted with the rezoning request.

In a 6-to-1 vote, the Town Board approved a second request from Mr. Lee to rezone 26.57 acres of land at the intersection of Brogden Road and Wal-Pat Road next to Interstate 95 from Business to Heavy Industrial.  No specific plans were presented for the vacant tract of land. A portion of the property was approved in February 2010 for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow an outdoor storage area for a materials handling facility at 1420 Wal-Pat Road. However a rezoning permit was never issued in 2010 and the land remains vacant.