It's wonderful that the right to protest rezoning has been legally restored to Greensboro with provisions that make it harder to pass the horrible rezoning that has been done in our city in the past. However; there are several loop holes that are used to to the advantage of some who ask for rezoning.
1. There is a provision in NC law which was requested in the Greensboro Legislative Agenda and a coalition of municipal governments several years ago. (I can't remember the the official name of the group).
The law prohibits small unincorporated communities to incorporate if they are within a certain distance of an already incorporated city.
2. NC Law allows large cities to annex any area adjacent to their city limits without any restraints that I know about.
Greensboro uses these two provisions to swallow up areas around its perimeter and inflict "original zoning." to the area.
The protest petition only applies to zoning map amendments. It arises either when neighbors object to the REZONING of a parcel or when the owner objects to a REZONING proposed by the government or the neighbors.
COUNTY RESIDENTS DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO USE THE PROTEST PETITION. The exception to this general rule is where the General Assembly has modified the generally applicable law as it applies to a particular city or county. For example, local legislation adopted in 1971 removed the protest petition for Greensboro, while local legislation adopted in 2003 extended the protest petition to Durham County.
The overwhelming majority of rezoning petitions are not subjected to a protest petition. . . .
Some of this Information provided by: David W. Owens,
Gladys H. Coates Professor of Public Law and Government
School of Government
CB 3330, Knapp-Sanders Building
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3330
And:The Protest Petition Blog