Carrollton-based physician Doctor Brent Harrris late Tuesday, stated via social mediathat he and his wife have decided to cancel their rezoning request of the city of Carrollton relating to the former George Washington Carver High School.
Mr. and Mrs. Harris had initially hoped to open a molecular lab in the facility to provide rapid PCR analysis which would include covid-19 testing. That plan would have required a zoning change for the building from multi-family to office use.
That request was met with pushback from community leaders and residents, with some sharing concerns the lab could affect property values and quality of life for nearby residents. Others were hoping for another future for the property, despite it being privately owned.
The Carroll County NAACP hosted a teleconference earlier in the evening Tuesday which resulted in participants pledging to begin petitioning city planning & zoning board members and elected city officials with a letter urging them to vote against any rezoning.
Harris posted to Facebook a short time after that meeting concluded: After much deliberation, and after listening to the NAACP meeting that was held tonight, we have decided to cancel the rezoning request of the former carver high school. We now know with certainty the local community would prefer for the building to be used as an assisted living facility or sit unused. With the current multifamily zoning designation, a community business incubator, event center, or scientific research facility will not be possible or welcomed into the area. Sorry Carrollton. We are big dreamers and that area is not ready for our dream.
Harris told WLBB Radio Tuesday evening that he would work towards getting the property listed with the register of historic places which would make the facility eligible for state property tax incentives and some state-funded undertakings.