04/03/05 — City to vote on development plan

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City to vote on development plan

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 3, 2005 9:54 AM

Major changes could be coming this week in how the city regulates development.

At its meeting Monday night, the Goldsboro City Council is scheduled to vote on the Unified Development Ordinance, which has been in the discussion stage for several years.

The ordinance combines and streamlines some existing regulations. For example, the city currently has five industrial zones, but it will only have two after the UDO is approved. The R-7 residential zone will be merged into the similar R-6.

But the ordinance also asks more of developers, particularly those planning big projects.

All commercial projects over 4 acres or that border residential property will have to submit lighting plans. The city will review how lights are to be mounted on poles or inside canopies so that neighboring properties are not affected by glare or light pollution.

Large retail projects will be required to provide outdoor spaces, such as public areas with benches and tables, or amenities such as fountains.

The UDO will require more extensive landscaping around development. For the first time, the city will enforce buffer maintenance, meaning the builders cannot simply plant trees and shrubs and then allow them to die.

Most businesses will be required to screen dumpsters on all four sides, including a gate. The only exceptions will be if the screening would make it impossible for a garbage truck to service them.

The UDO tightens sign regulations. One casualty would be the spotlight that shines above a Goldsboro topless-dancing club.

The UDO also includes new regulations for high-noise areas around Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The city plans to prohibit new residences in areas with average noise levels over 75 decibels and new hospitals, nursing homes, schools and day care centers in areas with noise levels over 65 decibels.

City boards have spent considerable time discussing churches. The draft UDO would also ban them from being built in all high noise areas, but the Goldsboro Planning Commission has recommended allowing new assembly halls in areas with noise levels less than 70 decibels.

In most cases, the UDO would allow homes and businesses to be rebuilt, or even expand, in the high-noise areas but not inside the accident-potential zones at the end of the base's runway. That would mostly affect businesses along U.S. 70 East, should they be destroyed.

The City Council has discussed various sections of the UDO over the past year, and hearings have been held, the last being in February. The final vote is scheduled for Monday night.

Other business

The City Council must also decide whether to require Kathy Woodard to reinstall a fence that once stood behind her apartment complex on Harding Drive, just north of the YMCA's soccer fields.

She replaced the broken fence with plantings after a city employee mistakenly told her that she could. It had been part of the original developer's agreement to build the complex.

Neighbors asked the council in March to restore the fence.

Also at the meeting, the council is scheduled to decide two zoning requests.

Bellene Holdings is asking for almost 8 acres on the east end of Corbett Street, off McLain Street, to be rezoned R-16 residential. If granted, that would allow single-family homes on 1/3-acre lots.

Keith Peten is asking the city to rezone less than an acre on the west side of Harrell Street, off Dixie Trail. If the rezoning is granted, he plans to give the land to Habitat for Humanity to build a single-family home.

The council will also consider condemning homes at 904 Anderson Drive, 209 N. Georgia Avenue and 401 N. Virginia St.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the council's chambers, Goldsboro City Hall, 214 N. Center St. It will be televised live on PACC-10 (Channel 10 on Time-Warner Cable).