06/08/04 — Princeton town board postpones action on limiting housing residents

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Princeton town board postpones action on limiting housing residents

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on June 8, 2004 1:59 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board will wait a little longer before enacting an amendment to its minimum housing ordinance that would limit the number of people living in a home.

The four-man board agreed to table the amendment until it can talk to its lawyer. The board had tried to act because 23 people were living in one home.

Town Commissioner Walter Martin Jr. said during Monday night's monthly board meeting that the town cannot pass laws to take care of everything. Martin, a Smithfield police detective, added that such an ordinance would be impossible to enforce. Princeton Police Chief Eddie Lewis agreed.

Under the amendment, Martin said, 11 people could live in a 1,104-square-foot home.

But Mayor Don Rains said he had talked to Benson town officials and they said they had no problems enforcing a similar amendment.

Without the amendment, Commissioner Eddie Haddock suggested that Princeton "will end up with the undesirables from other towns."

Police report

Chief Lewis also was taking action against the owners of junked vehicles and unkempt yards. He said the first Princeton resident, Wanda Stanley, had been fined $100 and taxed $100 in court costs for failing to remove three junked vehicles.

Landowners are warned first in letters about junked vehicles. Lewis said that if they fail to comply within a few weeks, he issues a citation.

Lewis said he was seeking bids to remove tree stumps from a South Pearl Street lot, owned by Becky Guin.

The chief also said he was reviewing applicants for an officer's job and hoped to hire someone in a few weeks to fill a vacancy. He announced that Pete Seawell was promoted to sergeant.

Lewis said he will apply for a $10,000 local law enforcement block grant for equipment after being turned down for a $16,000 grant from the Governor's Crime Commission.

Other business

The town board unanimously approved a variance for an 18-lot subdivision south of Dr. Donnie Jones Boulevard, the U.S. 70 Business route. The variance was needed because the cul-de-sac was longer than what was permitted. Planning Board Chairman Marshall Price explained that there was not enough space for a second entrance to the proposed street.

In other matters, the town board:

*Scheduled a budget workshop June 21 and a public hearing June 28 on the 2004-05 budget.

*Passed a proclamation to honor former town commissioner S.S. "Pete" Lee Jr., who died April 10 at the age of 82. He also was a volunteer firefighter and rescue squad member and Board of Elections precinct worker.

*Passed a proclamation to honor Apostle Harold D. Mitchell, a minister for 20 years who hosts a weekly cable television program and serves as a law-enforcement officer.