02/25/09 — Cashwell could connect to U.S. 70

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Cashwell could connect to U.S. 70

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 25, 2009 1:46 PM

Goldsboro planning officials are considering a plan that would create a shortcut from Berkeley Boulevard to the U.S. 70 Bypass.

The city is working with Wayne County Public Schools officials to extend Cashwell Drive from its terminus at Berkeley Park to go behind Greenwood Middle School and end at Oak Forest Road -- about 3,100 feet of road extension.

The discussion came up at the Goldsboro Planning Commission meeting Monday night, after Chevrolet Cadillac of Goldsboro submitted a site plan for the commission's approval.

The site plan includes dividing the land on the opposite corner of Oak Forest Road from the current dealership into two separate tracts -- one that is 37 acres and one that is 16 acres.

The site plan also shows a proposed road on that corner, and the new road could be the one tied into Cashwell Drive and could, essentially, finish the extension.

The city would be responsible for constructing 1,600 feet of the road, costing about $1,058,800, and Chevrolet Cadillac of Goldsboro (CCOG) would be responsible for constructing 1,500 feet of the road, Goldsboro Planning Director Randy Guthrie said.

The project is currently unfunded, he added, and he said he isn't sure when it will be finished.

"The project has not been brought before City Council for funding," Guthrie said. "For right now, it's just on (CCOG's) property."

But after planning commission members asked how far along he was with discussions on the extension with county officials, Guthrie replied "substantially along."

He said he has been speaking with Sprunt Hill, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services for the school system, and said his comments regarding the extension of the roadway behind Greenwood Middle School have been positive.

"It would still be the same roadway (Cashwell Drive), but we would have to move it a little here and there (by Berkeley Park)," he added.

Commission Chairman Chris Boyette said he had heard some buzz about the extension for some time, and said he was happy that it would cut his commute down.

But he also said that the extension coming to fruition would "spur continued development in that area."

"It could help remove some of the bus and other related school traffic off Ash Street onto Cashwell Drive," Guthrie said. "It would help with economic development by providing a direct connector from the commercial corridor of Berkeley Boulevard to Oak Forest and U.S. 70. It would also provide additional alternatives for motorists, who want to head east on U.S. 70, to get from Berkeley Boulevard to the bypass without having to go through the sometimes congested interchange at U.S. 70 and Berkeley Boulevard."

The dealership's site plan also included two new buildings on the property -- one that is proposed to be 61,733 square feet, and one that will likely be 51,000 square feet.

A representative from the engineering firm working with CCOG said plans included using one of the buildings for a new dealership and the other for the possibility of a new car brand. The name of the new car brand wasn't specified.

A new road and new dealership weren't the only items on the planning commission's agenda.

Members also looked over and approved a site plan for a Murphy's Oil gas station to be placed in the same complex as the Wal-Mart in Rosewood.

In other business, commission members also approved closing portions of Atlantic Avenue, at North William and North John streets and at North Jefferson Avenue, from request by the North Carolina Railroad Co.

The company technically owns the land it wants to be closed, but has allowed the city to use it.

Now, with hopes to have some growth of the rail system in the future, the company wants to plan ahead and clear out any encroachments on its property.

The railroad company told city officials the portion of the avenue wouldn't be used until it was a necessity, and until then, could still be used by the city.

Goldsboro fire and police departments were unsure of the safety of closing portions of the avenue, considering it provides access to Fairview Housing.

Planning commission members asked planning staff if it was still code compliant with closing the avenue and only having access to the housing units from the front entrance, and planning staff said it would be compliant.

Commission members approved closing the avenue, but stated that they wanted the railroad company to help provide another access road to Fairview Park and the Fairview public housing complex.

The planning commission also approved two public hearing items from the Feb. 16 City Council meeting -- one that will allow for an accessory dwelling to be placed on Somervale Lane for a family to take care of an elderly family member, and one that will allow for rezoning of the land located on West Ash Street between Old Smithfield Road and U.S. 117 South where the state is continuing plans to build a new Cherry Hospital.