05/21/08 — Council weighs ordinance to save structures near downtown

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Council weighs ordinance to save structures near downtown

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on May 21, 2008 2:19 PM

The talk wasn't all budget at the Goldsboro City Council meeting Monday.

Although council members did hold a public hearing on the 2008-09 spending plan, the council also held seven other public hearings, including one on a subject meant to help protect the historic structures in the downtown area.

A public hearing was held on an amendment to the Demolition by Neglect Ordinance, which helps the city keep buildings in disrepair from being broken into and vandalized.

The current ordinance doesn't allow windows to be boarded up, but the proposed ordinance, which would be called the "Architectural and Building Preservation Ordinance," would allow second-story windows to be boarded up indefinitely if they are painted a similar color to the remaining exterior facade and use an acceptable material. A part of the ordinance that won't change is if the property isn't maintained, fines might be incurred.

Two people spoke in opposition of the proposed ordinance.

Michael Troutman, a resident of Virginia Street, said that there are "numerous break-ins and numerous thefts" in the downtown area, and that criminal activity already hinders owners from keeping up with properties and avoiding fines. The new ordinance would make the upkeep even more difficult, he added.

Downtown business and property owner Jeff Darwin also spoke regarding the newly proposed ordinance, saying that he is against it because it would make the downtown area look rundown in a time, when he feels, that it's vibrant.

"The downtown is looking nice," he said. "Why would we want to board up windows?"

He also stated that other larger cities around the area have the same ordinance that Goldsboro currently has, and they are succeeding with it.

"I think we should stick to our guns," he said.

Two other public hearings were held regarding rezoning requests.

Landvest Development Inc. requested that property located on the west side of Wayne Memorial Drive between New Hope Road and Tommy's Road still keep the office and institutional zoning but with certain amendments to allow for a residential and office and institutional development called Windsor Creek Subdivision. The subdivision will include 200 residential units and office space, all on 32 acres. Developer Glenn Barwick spoke in favor of the request.

The second rezoning hearing was held regarding a request made by Cosimo Santoro to allow property located on the south side of East Ash Street between Carriage Road and Meadow Road to be changed from a residential and noise overlay zone to residential conditional district and noise overlay zone to allow a maximum of four residential units. No one spoke at the hearing.

A public hearing was held for a conditional use permit requested by Arthur Turner that would allow the use of an existing garage as an accessory dwelling for his elderly parents on property located on the north side of Old Mill Place between Granville Drive and Mill Branch. Both the owner of the property and his attorney, Arthur Turner, spoke in favor of allowing the permit.

The last public hearing of the night was held for areas for sanitary sewer improvements. Those areas are: U.S. 117 from Elm Street to 2,000 feet north, Branch Street from Vann Street to Truman Street, Oak Forest Road from U.S. 70 East to 700 feet south, Amherst Road from Balsam Place to Amherst Place, New Hope Road from Reedy Branch to 2,000 feet east of Best Road, Twin Oaks Place from New Hope Road to the terminus of Twin Oaks Place and Granville Drive from Fedelon Trail to Beverly Lane. Even though three people spoke in opposition of the improvements, citing concerns about the cost to those along the lines, the council approved the areas for sewer improvements.

Council members also spoke during their work session about changing the duties the Family Y has in managing the city's pools.

The pool will now be open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

There will be no pool rate increase, but summer swim passes for city-only youth who are not members of the Family Y will be sold at the Parks and Recreation Department for use at both the Mina Weil and Peacock pools for the entire summer.

The pool pass fees will be $25 for youth up to the age of 18 and $35 for adults.

The department will also offer a fee reduction for those youths that are on a free or reduced lunch from the school system. If the child receives a free lunch, there will be no fee for the pass. If a child receives a reduced lunch, the fee will be $12.50.

In other business, council approved budget amendments, a fire district amendment, installation of a water line, multi-use path easements to allow the extension of the bike path from Harding Drive to New Hope Road and up to Hare Road, and the closing of certain city streets for the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends Parade. Seniors in the Mayor's Youth Council and four seventh-graders from Dillard Middle School also were recognized by council.