03/20/07 — Concerns continue over location for new animal shelter

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Concerns continue over location for new animal shelter

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 20, 2007 1:54 PM

Some said it would create traffic woes that would make the streets less safe for children at play. Others were more concerned with the potential sights and smells.

Several residents addressed Goldsboro City Council members Monday evening, speaking in opposition to a zoning request from Wayne County, that if approved, would allow for construction of an animal shelter inside the city limits on county-owned property along the east side of Clingman Street.

"I'm speaking simply as a concerned mother. I see kids playing up and down that street, on Clingman," Brenda Warren said. "Is there going to be an increase in traffic?"

Roland Myles had other worries -- noise, odor and a potential decrease in neighboring property values. Speaking on behalf of the Alpha Omega Christian Center, he said members of the assembly were not interested in operating next door to an intrusive shelter.

"We oppose the rezoning for the animal shelter," he said. "It's going to make the area very noisy, and there will be bad odors coming from (it). It will also adversely effect the property value of everybody in that particular area."

County Manager Lee Smith was also in attendance. After concerns were voiced, he presented the council with Wayne's vision -- a state-of-the-art facility he said would not create a nuisance for residents or businesses along Clingman.

"This facility will be completely contained," he said, adding this will ensure no odors or sounds come out. "This is not your father's Buick. This is something substantially different. This is a $1.6 million facility."

Mary Rhoe still wasn't convinced. She characterized the proposed shelter site as another attempt by local officials to condemn black neighborhoods in the city.

"I'm sick and tired of people putting all the filth and everything else in the predominately black neighborhoods," she said. "I'm against it, and if I have to, I'll get every black person in Wayne County to sign a petition. I'm just sick and tired of people doing things like that to black folks all the time -- thinking they can put anything anywhere."

The facility, though, will be a far cry from an eyesore, Smith added.

"This facility is the equivalent of a large veterinarian's office," he said. "I think this will be something that the citizens of this county can take pride in. It will be a good neighbor."

Councilman Chuck Allen agreed and urged those with concerns to meet with county officials and go over the plan. This facility, he said, would be an asset to any community.

"I think you'll be shocked," Allen said. "I know I was, personally. When they say animal shelter, I just picture the old facility. I guess that's what I will always have in my mind."

Ms. Rhoe responded, drawing applause from many of the residents on hand.

"If this building is such a state-of-the-art building, why don't you put it in your back yard or some of the other officials' back yards?" she asked Smith.

"If there was a place that the county owned, that was centrally located, we would do it," Smith said. "This is the best piece we have that we own."

Planning Director Randy Guthrie said no recommendation has yet been made by the Planning Commission, but he expects to have one for the City Council at its April 2 meeting. At that time, a majority must vote for the zoning change.

Myles said he hopes the city's elected body stands up for his church and for the neighbors surrounding Clingman Street.

"We don't think the animal shelter needs to be in the city limits," he said. "It should be out in the county."

Ms. Rhoe agrees.

"Right is right and wrong is wrong," she said. "This here is wrong."