11/16/04 — Planning ordinance to be reviewed

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Planning ordinance to be reviewed

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on November 16, 2004 1:59 PM

After more than a year, the Goldsboro City Council will soon be ready to hear comments about the proposed zoning ordinance from the public.

Goldsboro council members spent almost two hours Monday reviewing the latest changes to the document.

Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the proposed code was better organized. It addresses appearance more than the current ordinance, Guthrie said.

Councilmen agreed that commercial dumpsters should be screened on four sides, with one side being a gate. The dumpsters must also remain closed.

Guthrie asked if that would only apply to dumpsters visible from the road.

Councilman Chuck Allen said he thought it should probably apply to all dumpsters, but asked the other council members "how much stomach" they had.

"We'll hear a lot of complaints," Allen said.

Councilman Jimmy Bryan said that the council should make it apply to all dumpsters, if the council was serious about cleaning up the city.

The other councilmen agreed and also said that people with existing dumpsters would have a certain period of time to comply.

When discussing landscape and other screening requirements in the city, Bryan said the city needed to check on maintenance.

"When a business opens it looks real good," Bryan said. "But one year later, the landscaping is often gone or in bad shape."

Bryan said the city needed to have a program to make sure the landscape stayed attractive.

The council also agreed that all businesses in the city should meet requirements for street landscaping.

"There are some places that look great on Berkeley Boulevard," said Allen, "because of the landscaping. But there are others that make the road look terrible."

The council also discussed stricter enforcement of sign regulations and agreed that another zoning enforcement officer would need to be hired.

"If we want to enforce these changes, we'll need another person," Allen said.

The new ordinance would also require a lighting plan for new shopping centers or other developments that abut a residential area. The plan, Guthrie said, would require developers to reduce the glare from lights.

The ordinance would also prohibit boarding houses downtown and would only allow them in areas zoned Residential (R)-12, R-9 or R-6.

The city will also evaluate existing downtown boarding houses to see if they meet current building code requirements.