Changes to Raleigh’s zoning laws could revive corner family store ::


– The Peacox Community Market is tucked away in downtown Raleigh, between the houses of Lane Street. Current zoning laws prohibit the opening of new corner stores in a residential area like this.

The building where the market once stood is currently vacant, but has been standing since the early 1960s. Jessica Peacock sees the store as her future.

She hopes to reopen her family store in the Walnut Terrace neighborhood of Raleigh.

“We are reinventing a community market to meet the needs of the community,” said Peacock.

Right now, residential property zoning laws are holding back Peacock’s dream.

“The only way we can operate as a retail business is to be right around the corner,” she said.

The city is considering zoning changes that would conceal new convenience stores and markets in the neighborhoods.

Raleigh City Councilor Jonathan Melton is leading the charge to encourage small businesses that could bring healthy, fresh food closer to home.

“It’s better for the environment,” he said. “It’s more affordable, and I think it’s better overall to be a more resilient city.”

Other city council members said they were concerned about rising crime rates in neighborhoods where markets are open late at night.

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Peacock wants the cleaned-up counter in his corner market to become the place where a community comes together.

“Your neighbors shop where you shop,” she said. “Your merchant is someone who understands and wants and seeks to meet the needs of this community.”

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