10/02/06 — County will wait to make decision on Case Farms

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County will wait to make decision on Case Farms

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 2, 2006 1:49 PM

A public hearing planned for Tuesday's county Board of Commissioners meeting concerning the establishment of a new one to accommodate planned growth at Case Farms has been rescheduled for next month.

Case Farms purchased a tract of land adjacent to its plant on Pecan Road several years ago to expand operations, but the land is located in an Accident Potential Zone surrounding Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

County and Goldsboro officials have worked for years to prevent too much development near Seymour Johnson, fearing the encroachment would cause the Air Force to reconsider Wayne County as a viable location for the base. Encroachment around military installations is a major factor in Pentagon decisions about which bases to maintain, expand or close.

The land Case Farms purchased is also divided into three separate governmental zones: a county light industry zone, a county airport zone and part of the city of Goldsboro's extra territorial jurisdiction.

Although county officials want Case Farms to be able to expand, rezoning the company's property for heavy industry use would be considered encroachment by the Air Force, Wayne County Planning Director Connie Price said.

At the commissioners' Sept. 5 meeting, Price said the county could create a new type of zone -- airport industrial -- which would allow the company to expand without impeding on the empty space near Seymour Johnson's runways.

The commissioners had agreed to hold a public hearing on the issue Tuesday, but will reschedule it for Nov. 7 at 9:15 a.m. The required legal advertisement notifying residents of the public hearing wasn't published in the newspaper. County Manager Lee Smith suggested the board reschedule the public hearing until the legal advertisement is published.

The commissioners will also consider revising the smoking policy around the county office building, which houses the county's Health Department and Department of Social Services, at 301 N. Herman St.

Wayne Health Director Jim Roosen said exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is a hazard to public health and the smoke has been declared a class A carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. To protect employees, patients and visitors, the front entrance facing Ash Street will be designated as a non-smoking area.

The front entrance facing Herman Street and the back entrances facing Lionel and Simmons streets have already been designated non-smoking. An area next to the Building and Grounds building will be designated as a smoking area.