09/13/04 — New demolition ordinance set for review by city council

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New demolition ordinance set for review by city council

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on September 13, 2004 1:57 PM

An ordinance aimed at preventing the deterioration of buildings in downtown Goldsboro is ready for the review by the full City Council.

The ordinance called "Demolition by Neglect" has been streamlined by the city's Law and Finance Committee to make it easier to enforce, say officials. It would require downtown property owners to take steps to protect buildings from decay.

If the property owner doesn't comply, a fine of $100 per day could be levied.

Last month the City Council held a public hearing on the amendment to the zoning ordinance, and some citizens voiced concerns about how it would be enforced.

The city's Law and Finance Committee met twice in the last two weeks to discuss those concerns.

At first, the ordinance addressed the historic district and said violators of the ordinance would have to appear before the Historic Commission.

That step has been cut out. The new proposal would address the problem in phases. The first phase concentrates on the central business district, and the second two phases will look at buildings in the eastern and western sections of downtown.

Councilman Chuck Allen said he wanted people to fix their properties, but didn't want to make the ordinance so cumbersome that people would decide to demolish the buildings instead of fixing them.

"This ordinance is to make sure that the properties don't get to that point," Allen said.

City Manager Richard Slozak said that the demolition-by-neglect ordinance would allow the city to get involved in sprucing up properties, before they needed to be demolished.