02/19/07 — Commissioners to discuss Beston Road, airport zoning plan

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Commissioners to discuss Beston Road, airport zoning plan

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 19, 2007 1:47 PM

Taking the advice of state legislators, residents around Beston Road and U.S. 70 will make a plea to the Wayne County commissioners for a stoplight during the board's Tuesday morning meeting.

State Department of Transportation officials began work in November on a directional crossover at the intersection that would prohibit vehicles from directly crossing U.S. 70 from Beston Road.

Soon after construction began, nearby property and business owners protested the construction saying a crossover would force farm equipment and emergency vehicles to make U-turns at other medians causing delays and making the highway more dangerous than it already is.

The residents told transportation officials at two meetings this year -- including one last week -- that they want a stoplight instead. N.C. Department of Transportation told residents Friday they would consider their suggestions and concerns, but "chances are slim" that a stoplight will be installed.

State Rep. Van Braxton told the crowd of more than 70 residents Friday that they still had a chance to get that stoplight if they convince a majority of the commissioners to support a local bill. If the residents can accomplish that, Braxton said he would try to get the bill on the House floor.

In addition to the Beston Road concern, the commissioners are also slated to hold three public hearings pertaining to zoning issues.

Last September, the commissioners approved a six-month moratorium halting development around the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport until the county's planning department could develop a zoning plan that would consider the airport's expected growth over the next 20 years.

Before that moratorium expires on March 9, the commissioners will hear public comments on the planning department's plan to change zones in and around the airport.

The runway and the land surrounding the airport is currently zoned "airport zone." The planning department's plan would change that designation to "light industry." That zone would extend from near Big Daddy's Road to Stoney Hill Road.

There would still be pockets of airport zoned land near the intersections of Airport and Mount Carmel Church roads, Airport Road and U.S. 117, Stoney Hill Road and North Street and a strip of land between Combs Road and Mount Carmel Church Road east of the runway.

All of the zoning changes would affect more than 20,000 acres in the vicinity of the airport. The changes would allow the airport to extend its runway from 5,500 feet to 9,000 feet in the next 20 years.

But the zoning change will also prohibit the use of property for residential purposes to protect the airport's flight path from being compromised by development.

The commissioners did create loopholes for nearby landowners. Any property owner as of Sept. 5, 2006, who has an existing residential unit may build "one additional residential unit per existing tract provided that the existing tract is a minimum of two acres in size," according to the proposed change.

Also, any property owner as of Sept. 5, 2006, with a vacant tract of land may build "one residential unit per existing tract provided that the tract is a minimum of one acre in size."

The next public hearing concerns the residents in the vicinity of Raintree subdivision northeast of Goldsboro. Many residents in that subdivision requested that they be included in the county's zoning map.

The commissioners are considering creating Zoning Area 15 for those residents and the surrounding area. That area would be bordered to the east by East Hill Street and to the north by U.S. 13. The southern edge of the zoning area is the proposed U.S. 70 bypass that will be located just north of Goldsboro's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

At that U.S. 70 and U.S. 13 interchange, the county would implement a community shopping zone to allow for future commercial development. Most of the subdivisions would be zoned to allow for either 15,000-square-foot or 20,000-square-foot lots. Most of the remaining land would be zoned for agriculture with the possibility of more subdivision growth in the future.

The final public hearing involves a proposed amendment to the county's zoning ordinance to allow two acres of land at 2550 U.S. 117 South Alternate belonging to Ricky Young to be changed from a residential agriculture zone to heavy industry. The change would allow Young to expand his existing salvage yard.

The public hearings are scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. County commissioner meetings begin at 9 a.m. and are held on the fourth floor of the county courthouse.