04/18/06 — City residents speak against building plans

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City residents speak against building plans

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 18, 2006 1:49 PM

More than 20 Goldsboro residents spoke in opposition of a plan to rezone and develop office buildings near their subdivision on the west side of Wayne Memorial Drive between New Hope Road and Tommy's Road during a public hearing at Monday night's City Council meeting.

The plan would allow for a deceleration and an acceleration lane to enter the office complex. Also, the streets of the subdivision behind the office complex would open up into Tommy's Road. Many of the residents who spoke said this would add unnecessary traffic and hinder them from exiting the subdivision.

"I'm totally opposed to this. This would add an extra 300 cars twice a day. If I wanted that kind of traffic, I'd move back to Houston," resident Ted Wilson said.

Many of the residents living in the subdivision are retired and travel to doctor's appointments or the clinic from their homes on a regular basis, Chapel Hill resident Michael Cox said. The traffic already has an effect on the amount of time it takes to get to these appointments, and more traffic would increase the problem, he said.

Cox, who owns property in the area near the proposed office building, said he talked to many of the property owners and nearly all of them oppose the plan.

"There are, by my count, 46 homes out there. Of those, I have a petition with signatures of 43 of the 46 owners. Development should be reasonable and in harmony with the community," Cox said.

Other residents opposed the plan because it would ruin the quiet neighborhood they have come to love.

"My husband and I bought the property and built our home in 1965. The opening of Shady Wood will open up the boulevard and ruin the serenity of our street," resident Eugenia Brooks said.

Raleigh resident Ann Buck owns the property that would be used for the office buildings and she said she respects the requests of other property owners in the area, but the residents should realize that times change.

"I got the property eight years ago when my mother died. The property has been in my family since 1944. I can remember when there was nothing but a dirt road out there. I've seen a lot of changes, and it will continue to change," Mrs. Buck said.

The property's developer, Glenn Barwick, said the reason Shady Wood Street will tie into Tommy's Road is because it is required by a city ordinance. If the state Department of Transportation allows him to do it, he said he would like to widen Wayne Memorial Drive and include a center lane to help with the traffic coming out of the office buildings and subdivision.

"There are 10,000 cars a day there now on Wayne Memorial, and there's expected to be three times as many in the coming years," Barwick said.

Since the residents placed a valid protest with the city's planning office, Assistant Planning Director Randy Guthrie said six of the seven City Council members would have to vote in favor of the project for it to be approved.

The City Council will not have to make a decision on the issue until a later meeting, but Mayor Al King said he and the council would take each argument into consideration.