10/21/08 — Goldsboro Council continues annexation preparation

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Goldsboro Council continues annexation preparation

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 21, 2008 1:46 PM

Although a discussion about future annexation was listed as a topic on the Goldsboro City Council's work session agenda Monday night, members decided to hold off until their next session in November.

The council did, however, continue the process of bringing its newly- annexed property along Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads, holding a public hearing on the potential rezoning.

The area was part of a four-year annexation legal battle between residents and city officials that ended after the state Supreme Court refused to hear the residents' appeal in August.

Currently, all of the property in the newly- annexed area is zoned residential.

The city Planning Department, however, is proposing to change zonings for the area to include two residential zones, an office and institutional zone and a neighborhood business zone since there are three current commercial properties -- a day care center, a gas station and convenience store and a small shopping center.

Two people spoke at the hearing.

Hal Keck commented positively on the zoning in the area.

"I think it's beneficial to our community," he said. Keck asked council members to think about those residents who have farm animals, primarily horses, on some of the property deemed residential.

Mayor Al King told Keck that the city would work with those people to keep their horses and help them stay in line with zoning regulations.

Mike Woodard also spoke about the zoning, asking the council to consider the effects on business when implementing restrictions that could limit enterprises looking to move into his commercial plaza on Buck Swamp Road.

Already, he said, the current economy isn't the best for businesses, and extra burdens would be detrimental.

"Add extra cost and extra requirements (with city taxes and stricter zoning) -- those burdens in itself do put restrictions on this property," he said.

Among the other three public hearings held Monday were two regarding rezoning requests to change property on the southeast side of Berkeley Boulevard between Cashwell Drive and Langston Drive from neighborhood business to general business, and to change property on the south side of West Grantham Street between the Little River and Nevel Street from residential to general industry. No one spoke at either hearing.

The Goldsboro Planning Commission met briefly to discuss the first rezoning request and recommended approval. Council members approved the rezoning.

The final public hearing was held on a sign ordinance amendment that would allow existing billboards that don't conform to current standards to be replaced with a changeable face LED, light-emitting diode, billboard if certain standards are met. Again, no one spoke.

Council members also postponed two items from the agenda.

The first was an amendment to a city ordinance that would change ownership of the city's water and sanitary sewer service lines -- those that run from the mains to the road right-of-way or property line -- from the property owner to the city.

The property owner would still be responsible, however, for the portion of the service line from the water meter or sanitary sewer cleanout to the point of service on the owner's property.

The amendment would also require the owner to pay in advance for the first city installed water or sanitary sewer tap. If the tap becomes dysfunctional, the cost of replacement would be paid by the city.

The second item was an agreement between the city and Eastern Wayne Sanitary District in which the city would not sell capacity in the water plant to the district or be required to sell water on peak pumping days.

In other business, council members approved an identity theft policy to protect water, sewer and refuse customers, the replacement of a tax on property tax on heavy equipment by a tax on the rental of that equipment, the hiring of three interim firefighters, a donation of $5,000 to the Stop the Funeral Initiative's Campaign for Change program contingent upon Wayne County and businesses paying their portion of the program's $15,000, and street closings for North End Fund Day and the "Boo It" Halloween festival.