11/27/08 — Planning Commission considers two site plans

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Planning Commission considers two site plans

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 27, 2008 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro Planning Commission considered two site plans Monday, approving one while rejecting the other.

The first plan approved, 601 E. Elm St., was for a new building with several modifications. No use was specified by the owner in the request, but with planning staff describing it as a likely retail location, the commission agreed to allow the owner to have seven parking spaces instead of the standard 12 and to pay a fee in lieu of sidewalks.

It did not approve a request to cut the drive-out width -- the space from the parking lot to the street that is used for patrons to back out onto Slocumb Street -- from 16 feet to 14 feet.

"I'd love to see something be done there because it'd be a heck of an improvement, but I hate to give away the farm," Commission Chairman Chris Boyette said.

The second site plan up before the commission was for the Isler House on South Franklin Street, a group home facility that would serve children.

Commission members denied the plan for the facility, though, on the grounds that it would be too close to another of the same type -- one on Ben Brewington Court. The spacing requirement is 1,320 feet between such facilities. Under the current plan, the Isler House is 550 feet away from meeting that requirement.

The commission's third and final item of business was to set a public hearing date for a sign ordinance amendment that would allow illumination of signs in the office-residence zoning district.

The commission's public hearing was set for Jan. 20, 2009.

Currently, businesses in that type of zoning district, mostly along Ash Street that border residential neighborhoods, are not able to have a backlit or internally lit sign.

Signs are required to be lit by ground lighting in a way that does not detract from traffic.

Planning staff said that the amendment was created at the request of a business owner in that area who asked for a free-standing, illuminated sign.

The amended ordinance would allow for business owners to have illuminated signs, but ones with changeable copy will not be allowed.

If approved, it would be the second recent amendment to the ordinance after the City Council approved an increase in the maximum sign size in that zone from 10 square feet to 32 square feet.

In December, the planning commission will only meet once, at the second City Council meeting on Dec. 15.