03/17/09 — Maplewood residents protesting proposed zoning change at corner

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Maplewood residents protesting proposed zoning change at corner

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on March 17, 2009 1:46 PM

Residents of the Maplewood subdivision spoke out at the City Council meeting Monday night, expressing concerns over proposed rezoning of a land parcel on Berkeley Boulevard at Maplewood Drive.

The property would be rezoned from office and institutional to neighborhood business, raising concerns about traffic, noise and safety from residents.

"It's pretty high traffic," said Chuck Hand, president of the Maplewood property owners' association. Hand represented about 20 local residents who attended the council meeting.

A petition against the rezoning gathered 17 signatures out of the 20 people Hand spoke with, but at least 75 percent of the community was against the rezoning, he said.

Council member Jackie Warrick said he could believe it, and reported that he received multiple phone calls from Maplewood residents prior to the meeting.

"The 15 who called me were dead set against it," Warrick said. "I'm not for it."

Dr. George Silver Sr. also spoke against the rezoning, recalling that the council faced the same decision back in 2001, and that residents argued against the decision when the rezoning issue first came up.

"We are as opposed to it now as we were then," Silver said.

Maplewood resident Courtney Horton said she was concerned for children.

"My main concern as a mother is safety," she said. "There would be a lot more congestion. It's a place where children play a whole lot."

The rezoning would allow retail sales business to intrude on a residential area, which would be against the city's long-term plan -- "The plan we have come up with as a city," Hand said.

The planning commission will have a recommendation on the rezoning, which was proposed by Dillon Wooten Sr., by April 6.

The council also discussed closing part of North Center Street, from West Holly Street to Royall Avenue. Gas station owner Gary Rollings spoke against the proposed closing.

"We use it every day as a delivery corridor," he said.

In another rezoning issue, Justin Malarky of Greenville spoke on behalf of the developer in favor of the proposed rezoning of the Northeast corner of North Spence Avenue and U.S. Highway 70 East.

"This is truly a benefit for the community at large," he said.

In other business:

* The council discussed the property at 600 Oak Forest Road, declared to be a public nuisance in a default judgment by Superior Court Judge Gary E. Trawick. Mayor Al King said he received multiple anonymous letters of complaint about the property.

"You shouldn't have to put up with that kind of garbage in your neighborhood," he said.

The judgment found in favor of the city, and the city will be acting to clean up the property, towing away the junked cars and placing a lien against the property owner for court and cleanup fees.

* The council voted to adopt a minority business outreach plan.

* The YMCA proposed to increase their fees at Mina Weil and Peacock swimming pools to $3 for children and $5 for adults. The city council removed this item from the consent agenda and did not take action on it.

* During the work session, the DCDG provided an update of the Jazz on George program, to be held April 18, and will include a classic car show and entertainment from both local and invited musicians. The council voted to approve the plans to close sections of

* The council recognized Khendra Reid, recipient of the "Extra Effort Award," and Michael Kozak, long-time NC DOT employee who plans to retire this year.

* The council voted to declare this week "Boys and Girls Club" week in Goldsboro.

* No one spoke at the public hearing required by HUD.