07/24/05 — City Appearance Committee takes hard look at hardware store

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City Appearance Committee takes hard look at hardware store

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 24, 2005 2:00 AM

An effort to get a Goldsboro business to clean up its property might finally be moving forward.

Goldsboro's Appearance Commission has urged the city to issue citations to the owner of Delmus' Hardware.

At issue, members say, are piles of rusted storage cans, bits and pieces of old furniture, broken appliances and bales of wire that litter the grounds at the business, which is located near the Berkeley Boulevard interchange on U.S. 70.

The business is owned by Paul Bridgers, the son of former City Councilman Delmus Bridgers.

Zoning enforcement officer Melvin Artis said Tuesday at the Appearance Commission meeting that a revised zoning ordinance and a restructuring of the city's code enforcement department are making it easier to clean up Goldsboro.

"We have gone out to Delmus's place, taken pictures and identified problems," Artis said.

The next step will be to give the owner a specified time in which to clean up the area, he added. If the owner doesn't comply, the city can fine him for the violations.

"When do the fines start?" commission member Linda Powers asked. "That's what will clean it up."

Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the city first addressed the issue of junk vehicles at the business.

"We took him to court and most of those are gone," Guthrie said. "Now, we're dealing with other issues."

Guthrie said the reorganization of code enforcement streamlined the process and made it possible to handle the violations more efficiently.

"We also went to council earlier this month and refined the fining structure," Guthrie said. "The first violation is $50, and it can go up to $250. That's a per day, per violation, fine."

"That should get someone's attention quickly," Ms. Powers said.

Simonne Cato, executive director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful, said she is glad the area has gotten some attention.

"That's one of the places we've been working to improve," she said. Ms. Cato said the hardware store isn't the only unsightly place in the city, and asked if officials will be investigating other sites.

Guthrie said the city is serious about cleaning up and will pursue all residential and commercial violations.