04/07/09 — City Council denies Berkeley-Maplewood rezoning request

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City Council denies Berkeley-Maplewood rezoning request

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 7, 2009 1:46 PM

The northeast corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Maplewood Drive will not be rezoned, the Goldsboro City Council decided Monday night.

Following the recommendation of the city Planning Commission, the council voted unanimously to deny the rezoning from office and institutional to neighborhood business that had been sought by Dillon Wooten Jr.

Several members of the Maplewood community spoke out against the proposal at the March 16 council meeting, citing safety, noise and traffic concerns.

A petition against the rezoning was signed by more than 40 percent of affected residents. The same proposal was previously brought before the council and denied in 2001.

During the work session in the City Hall Addition, the council decided to remove from the night's agenda a proposed street closing for a section of North Center Street from West Holly Street to Royall Avenue. The Planning Commission recommended denying the proposal, suggesting that the road be left open to allow access to downtown from Royall Avenue.

Also during the work session, the council approved the city Fire Department's purchase of a used truck being sold by Seymour Johnson Air Force Base that will be used as a command vehicle. The truck can be purchased for about $18,000, much less than the more than $26,000 it would have cost the city to buy a new truck.

Replacing public works, fire department and police vehicles will be a consideration in the 2009-2010 budget, city officials said. The city finance and city manager's offices are preparing a proposed budget and expect to present it to the council by April 20, said City Manager Joe Huffman.

"It looks really difficult this year. We have to do the fire trucks. Some of these things make sense, but a lot of them we're thinking we better not do," Huffman said.

In other business, the council approved the proposed name change for Courtyard Circle as part of the meeting's consent agenda. Property management company McClain Barr and Associates sought to change the name to Day Circle, though police expressed concerns of confusion over the change.

The council voted to recommend the police department pursue a grant that will provide in-car camera systems for officers in Goldsboro and Sheriff's deputies in Wayne County. The cameras are installed in the position of the rearview mirror inside the cars. Each office may receive $135,929 from the grant.

Goldsboro citizen Gene Jackson of Silver Fox Circle spoke before the council during the public comment period to address the council about crime and safety in downtown Goldsboro. Jackson's family home on Oak Street burned down on March 16 under what Jackson said police believed to be suspicious circumstances.

Several council members expressed their sympathy.

"We are heavily aware of the problems of downtown," said Mayor Pro-Tem Chuck Allen. "We think we're making a difference, but it is a mean, mean subject."


*The city voted to accept an informal bid in the amount of $21,662.30 to replace playground equipment at the W.A. Foster Center. The low bid was placed by N.C. Playscape Construction.

*Five streets will transfer from the NCDOT to city authority as part of Annexation Phase 11. The streets are Kelly Drive, Ashby Lane, Livingston Drive, Plantation Road and West Tarklin Drive.

*The council approved closing part of Chestnut Street from John Street to Center Street for the Viva Goldsboro festival on May 2. Organizer Willie Cartagena said the festival will include a car show, activities for children and much more.

*The energy committee discussed during the work session possible ways to save money on the city's utility bills. Replacing the street lights, the city's largest energy consumer, with more energy efficient models could save up to 43 percent on the current electricity bill, according to the committee. Funding for the replacements could come from an energy efficiency and conservation block grant in the amount of $183,600.

*The council approved a rezoning request for the corner of North Spence Avenue and Highway 70 to allow for a Bojangles' sign. In a related item, the council also approved a site and landscape plan for a new Bojangles' restaurant to be built on the property.

*The council approved site and landscape plans for the new Cherry Hospital, an Auto Zone which will take over the old Rex Appliances building on Berkeley Boulevard and the new Eastern Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

*The council also approved of naming Mike Pate to the Stoney Creek Park Alliance board of directors. According to city officials, Pate will allow the use of his lands adjacent to the park to be used as part of the bike and/or walking trails planned for the park.

*The mayor read a resolution supporting the Veteran Government Bond, Stamp and Coin program.

*The mayor also read statements proclaiming April to be Jazz Appreciation Month, Month of the Military Child, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.