03/07/07 — Case gets OK to eye plans for expansion

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Case gets OK to eye plans for expansion

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 7, 2007 1:57 PM

Almost every detail has been worked out so that Case Farms can begin expanding its processing plant south of Goldsboro, following a decision by Goldsboro City Council Monday night.

Council members unanimously approved relinquishing the city's planning and zoning authority over a 2.98-acre tract of land the city owns on the northwest side of Pecan Road between Arrington Bridge and Mitchell roads.

The decision removes the land from Goldsboro's extraterritorial jurisdiction, which will allow Case Farms to add five more processing lines on land it recently purchased near its existing plant. The expansion would create 500 jobs.

Case Farms, which employs about 900 people and processes about 140,000 birds a day, had requested that its property be rezoned heavy industry by Wayne County planners so the company could begin building the additional processing lines. But the property is in the southern end of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's accident potential zone. Although the base does allow some development in those zones, too much is considered encroachment and could lead military officials to reconsider the base's mission.

To counter any encroaching development and to allow Case Farms to expand, the Wayne County commissioners approved the creation of an airport industry zone. Land Case Farms previously wanted zoned heavy industry is now zoned airport industry.

Now that the city has relinquished its land, Wayne County Planning Director Connie Price said the county has to rezone one unzoned piece of property before Case Farms can begin its expansion.

In other business, council approved replacing two stoplights along North John Street with stop signs to improve traffic flow and save the city money on maintenance costs.

City Manager Joe Huffman requested that the city's traffic advisory commission review the feasibility of removing the traffic signals on Oak, Vine and Holly streets and their intersections with North John Street.

Since there have been no accidents at the intersections of Oak and John and Vine and John in the past three years, the commission said it would be feasible to remove those stoplights. The light at Holly and John streets will remain because of a sight restriction.

The council's approval will allow city workers to change the existing stoplights to flashing lights for the next 90 days with signs indicating the upcoming change. The city will also erect stop signs to prevent vehicles from crossing John Street from Oak and Vine streets.

After the 90-day installation period, the stoplights will be removed, which will save the city money on maintenance costs. Huffman said the project at John Street will be the first of many across Goldsboro.

City council also approved the plans for a nightclub off U.S. 70 West between U.S. 117 Bypass and U.S. 117 North. The applicant, Muhammed Arif Darr, was granted a conditional use permit to allow for the operation of a place of entertainment.

The floor plan calls for a 2,840-square-foot nightclub that will have a bar, stage, lounge, dance floor and pool tables. Its hours of operations will be from 7-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.