During the Dec. 13 work session meeting, Elon’s town council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning request for Tax Parcel 108932, the land located at the intersection of University Drive and Cook Road. Previously, according to the town’s Land Development Ordinance, the land was zoned for industrial use and now it is suburban residential. 

Planning Director Lori Oakley presented on this request and said that the parcel, which is 1.16 acres of land, used to be a part of a larger area of land until University Drive was built, cutting off this section. Oakley said one of the only uses for this land would be something like a house and did not see this able to be utilized for any industrial purposes. This land also borders a railroad track, making part of its acreage unusable. 

“You've got about .6 of an acre that's actually usable,” Oakley said. “The parcel is currently zoned industrial, the industrial district in our LDO is described as being able to accommodate existing and future manufacturing wholesaling and warehousing uses. The proposed zoning we have tonight is suburban residential, which accommodates the town's single family subdivisions and also provides for infill development. The primary use in the SR zoning district is the single family detached home other allowable uses include churches, cemeteries, schools, set of cases with clubs, outdoor rec facilities.”

Oakley said while this did not further Elon’s comprehensive plan, the town staff still recommended the council approve the rezoning to allow for some use in the land parcel and that this change would have a minimal impact on the town. 

“This is my first case bringing to you where it's not consistent with the comprehensive plan,” Oakley said. “The approval of the zoning amendment also has the effect of changing the future land use map in our comprehensive plan.”

Oakley also announced the three candidates for Elon’s planning board. There are two positions available and two members of the board applied again for their seats. Aiesha Leath and Mark Podolle, who currently serve on the board, were reappointed by town council and Ed Peters, a sergeant for the town of Elon police, was not selected. 

Town Manager Rich Roedner also led a discussion on the town’s capital priorities and what larger items to invest in in the future, such as the creation of more sidewalks, an expansion of the police department, new fire trucks and park improvements. This is an ongoing conversation and Roedner said staff will work to fit these priorities into upcoming budgets. 

The town council meeting originally scheduled for Dec. 26 has been canceled as town staff and council members are observing winter holidays. The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 10, 2023, at the town hall.