08/21/07 — Eight homes in city's sights

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Eight homes in city's sights

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on August 21, 2007 1:45 PM

Members of the Goldsboro City Council approved condemnation of eight houses at their meeting Monday night, held two public hearings on rezoning and honored a general at their meeting Monday.

Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, former commander of United Nations forces in Afghanistan and a Goldsboro native, received the key to the city from Mayor Al King.

Eikenberry, a Goldsboro High School graduate, listened to his introduction by the mayor and jokingly noted that it must have been written by his mother. He also joked that if he didn't speak well to the audience, that Councilman Bob Waller, one of his former high school coaches, might make him run laps.

Eikenberry, who was to speak to the Goldsboro Rotary Club today, said he thought it was important to come back to his hometown and perform as much public outreach as possible. He now serves as deputy chairman of NATO's military committee.

He thanked the council and the residents of Goldsboro for their strong support of the military and encouraged young people to consider joining the military to help protect the United States.

King then presented Eikenberry with the key to the city and urged him to visit as often as possible.

"I don't give this out very often," King said. "This is your home. I'm sure you have a key to your home. This is a spare key to get you in anytime you want to."

"We are so proud of you and glad you don't forget about us," Waller said.

During the business portion of the meeting, council addressed the issue of substandard housing.

Nine houses had been scheduled for condemnation this week, but the owner of one of the structures -- at 425 Wayne Ave. -- managed to bring it up to code within the last month, Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianafarra said.

But the other eight will be torn down, he said.

Seven of the eight owners live outside the Goldsboro area and "that's part of the problem," with getting them brought up to building standards, King said.

Officials have been trying for several years to get rid of substandard structures in the city, or to get them up to code.

The first condemned house, at 700 Crawford St., has ceilings that are caving in and mold and mildew throughout the house, Cianfarra said. The property owner resides in Raleigh.

The second house is at 1014 N. John St. and is not feasible for repair, with a hole in the roof causing severe mold and mildew. The house also has asbestos shingles, Cianfarra said. The owner of the property is the only one among the eight who lives in the city.

Located at 413 W. Mulberry St., the third dwelling has extensive water damage, mold, mildew and rotten wood. The owner lives in Durham.

The owner of the house at 501 Dail St. lives in California. The house has major damage to the roof and rafters, Cianfarra noted.

The fifth house is at 113 E. Dewey St., and has major water, roof, and window damage. The owner lives in Washington, D.C.

The sixth dwelling, at 108 N. Slocumb St., has rotting siding and porch and foundation damage. The owner lives in Fort Washington, Md.

A house at 314 Whitfield Drive is owned by a resident of Oakland, Calif. It has rotted wood and broken windows.

A house at 710 Slaughter St., has a deteriorating foundation among other problems. The owner, who lives in Raleigh, is trying to sell the property, but has been unsuccessful to date.

In other business, council also conducted two public hearings involving requests to rezone property for business. No one spoke during either hearing.

Harry Ivey and Ivey/Swain have requested rezoning from industrial and business park to shopping center for property on the east side of Oak Forest Road between U.S. Highway 70 and Gateway Drive.

Seventy West Commercial Park requested re-zoning of its property on the north side of U.S. 70 West between Springwood Drive and J&L Drive from general business and residential to general industry.

Council also decided to include more planning items on the consent agenda, based on the commission's discretion, to save time during the council meetings. These items could include site plans that don't request modifications; site plans that do request modifications, but are unanimously recommended for approval by the planning commission; site plans the don't abut residentially zoned properties or wouldn't have a substantial impact on adjoining properties or the neighborhood; re-zonings without any opposition and unanimously recommended (excluding conditional district re-zonings); and minor text amendments to zoning code.

The council also approved budget amendments, a computerized signal system, engineering design services for improvements to the Neuse River intake and a traffic signal to be placed at the intersection of Patetown Road and Country Day Road.