12/06/05 — Princeton Town Board denies rezoning requests

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Princeton Town Board denies rezoning requests

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on December 6, 2005 1:48 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board has approved changes in its zoning ordinance to comply with state requirements.

The board also refused to rezone two small parcels after hearing arguments from the landowners.

Bobby Parker asked the board during Monday night's monthly meeting not to rezone a five-acre plot between U.S. 70 Business and Pondfield Road from residential to industrial. He said the land had a house, barns and shelters for 60 years and most of it was wetlands. He said he planned to renovate or replace the house and noted that the land was buffered from adjoining property.

Commissioner Walter A. Martin Jr. said he had talked to both property owners, including the Wellons family, and said that since both lots were similar, they should remain residential and not be rezoned industrial. Bryant Wellons asked the board in the Nov. 7 meeting not to rezone the land.

The board agreed not to rezone either lot and then approved the text changes in the zoning ordinance in a unanimous vote.

Auditor's report

Princeton's contracted auditor, C. Keith Peedin of Smithfield, presented his annual report. The report showed that the town's assets had increased by almost $1 million to a net of $2.85 million. The increase was attributed to water and sewer plant and equipment upgrades.

The fund balance had a slight decrease but still had a $310,000 surplus. Peedin said the town's debt increased by $380,000 because of a low-interest loan for sewer plant improvements.

When Mayor Don Rains was asked if the town's financial position was better this year than last, he answered, "Absolutely." He noted that the town's water and sewer fund and general funds showed surpluses. The town also had been awarded grants that enhance the town's assets.

Other business

Police Chief Eddie Lewis said he would enforce the town's 10:30 p.m. curfew on those under age 16. Commissioner Walter A. Martin Jr. asked that the board support the curfew and enforcement of it. Lewis said he had solved two break-ins because of the adult midnight curfew. The chief said he will apply for two grants for equipment in the new town hall.

In other business, the board:

*Banned smoking in all town-owned buildings.

*Scheduled a public hearing Jan. 2 on annexation of the proposed Cloverdale subdivision.

*Approved the purchase of a sampler for the sewer plant for about $3,500.

*Scheduled monthly meetings in 2006 on the first Monday, except July 10 and Sept. 5 to avoid holidays.

*Planned a retreat on Feb. 18.

*Held a closed session on personnel but took no action.