09/20/05 — City condemns former Kemp Furniture site

View Archive

City condemns former Kemp Furniture site

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 20, 2005 1:47 PM

City Council members looked at two property issues, one centering on traffic and the other on asbestos, at their meeting Monday.

Council voted unanimously to condemn property located at 700 S. George St., which is currently owned by Resources Exchange Corp. of Burlington, a non-profit organization.

The buildings, formerly part of Kemp Furniture Manufacturing, were condemned based on numerous factors, including the presence of asbestos tiles within parts of the facility, said Ed Cianfarra, chief building inspector for the city of Goldsboro.

City officials only have a post office box as a contact for the group, but Cianfarra said he had been contacted within the last week by the group, which asked for postponement of the demolition order because they had a potential buyer for the property.

Cianfarra said this is not the first time the group has asked for an extension.

"Every time we have inspected the property for potential buyers, the estimated repair cost is around $500,000, and they lose interest," he said.

The property was donated to the group, city officials said.

City officials said Monday they hope that eventually the property could be used for business development, but that it is not suitable for that purpose at this time.

No deadline has been set for renovation or demolition of the property by the city. However, should either action be taken, city officials said, the bill will go to Resources Exchange Association Inc.

In other business, City Council members also heard from concerned neighbors near a proposed business development on the corner of Lisa Lane and North Berkeley Boulevard.

Fran Kasey has lived in Goldsboro for 32 years. She told council members Monday that she is worried about a rezoning request made by a neighboring property owner.

Dewey Powell has asked to have the corner rezoned from residential to office and institutional.

Mrs. Kasey and other neighbors who attended Monday's meeting are concerned that adding a business to their neighborhood would create a dramatic increase in traffic and decrease both the safety and beauty of the area.

She added she hopes the council will put the needs of the neighborhood first.

"The city has already let us down, siding with businesses and not the citizens," she said.

James McDonough also is worried about traffic.

"We already have a lot of traffic in the area because of the shopping center," McDonough said. "We made this petition, and all persons within 300 feet of this property have signed it and are against it (rezoning)."

The property owner, who was represented at the meeting by attorney Bill Orander, disputes the residents' traffic concerns.

Orander said Powell plans to convert the home into an office, which could be used by an insurance company, which would not significantly increase traffic.

"Most of these concerns are based on rumors," he said. "Traffic will be minimal."

Goldsboro Mayor Al King assured the property owners their concerns will be evaluated fairly as city officials consider the rezoning request.