12/21/04 — Neighbors fight Berkeley car lot

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Neighbors fight Berkeley car lot

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on December 21, 2004 1:56 PM

Attempts to open another car lot on Berkeley Boulevard met opposition Monday from nearby residents and business owners.

The city received a request from Jackson Builders on behalf of Steve Matthews to rezone the southeast corner of North Berkeley Boulevard and Ridgecrest Drive from residential to general business.

"I don't think it's in keeping with the area," said nearby business owner Ernie Schmid during the public hearing.

Business owners Franklin Kirkland and Joyce Duncan agreed that a car lot would be incompatible with the other uses in the area and asked that the council deny the request.

James Walston, who lives on Ridgecrest Drive, said he thought it would be detrimental to the area.

Matthews said he had grown up in Goldsboro and had always dreamed of coming back and owning a business in the city. He lives in Clayton now, where he owns a car lot.

"I thought the place on Berkeley would be a perfect place for a used-car lot," he said. Matthews showed an artist's rendition of the future building and said it would increase property values.

He said about 100 cars would be in front of the business and lighting would be kept to a minimum. "It won't look like a landing for the Air Force base," he said.

One resident, Bailey Kline, supported the car lot, saying it was better than other things that could be put there.

The council received a protest petition from 24 percent of nearby land owners. This means that six out of the seven councilmen will have to vote yes for the rezoning to pass.

The planning commission will have a recommendation for the council at its Jan. 4 meeting.

Other car lots

No one spoke against two other requests for car lots that went before the council.

Mooring Auto Sales requested a special use permit to allow a used-car lot within the airport business zoning district.

Berkie Perkins, a member of the support council for the base, said that the proposed car lot would fit well in the area because there wouldn't be a large concentration of people where there is loud noise from jets.

Donald Faison also asked for a special use permit to operate a used-car lot on the corner of East Ash Street and Daisy Street.