02/28/08 — Club's location prompts 'no' vote

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Club's location prompts 'no' vote

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 28, 2008 1:49 PM

The former Elks Club on South James Street will likely stay as it is for now.

The Goldsboro Planning Commission denied a request by Henry Battle on Monday night to make the club, located between Spruce and Pine streets, into a "place of entertainment" with no ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) permits.

"I believe we saw this last year and the thing we were against was the ABC permits," commission member Bill Winslow said. "I definitely think there's a definite need for it, but the big bugaboo is the location. The location hasn't changed from the last time we saw it."

Commission members agreed that the club was a good idea -- in a different area of town.

At the City Council meeting on Feb. 18, seven people spoke in favor of the request, and six spoke in opposition.

Battle has said he wanted to give the residents of Wayne County a place to come and socialize.

"Everyone on occasion would like to have some social fun," he said. And the South James Street location would facilitate that, he added.

But others living in the neighborhood found the idea to be less than appealing.

"It wouldn't be in the best interest of the community," the Rev. Henry Gregory Jr. said.

He doesn't want to bring the community back to "drugs, gunshots, loud music inside, parked cars with loud music, young persons outside the club using all kind of language and the club being used as a public restroom."

"We've been there, done that, and don't want to return there again," he said. "I don't believe it would fit in. I want the community to know that James Street, the place that is called "the Block," is peaceful. We sleep at night."

The commission did approve rezoning of property located on the east and west sides of North William Street between Royall Avenue and Tarboro Street from general industry to residential, allowing for the building of 65 units for the Borden Loft Condominium project.

Also on the commission's approval list were a rezoning request by Redco Properties for property located on the northeast corner of West Grantham and Elizabeth streets and a conditional use permit to allow a used car lot on property located on the northwest corner of East Ash and Daisy streets as well as a preliminary subdivision plan of the property.

The commission also approved site plans for Pate & Smith Investments as well as plans submitted by Moe Abduh for property located on the northwest corner of East Walnut Street and Patrick Street and property located on the northwest corner of West Ash and North George streets.

Commission members also approved Chafin Place to become a city-maintained street with a few site modifications.