05/05/09 — City Council denies rezoning request for sports bar plan

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City Council denies rezoning request for sports bar plan

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on May 5, 2009 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council unanimously said no to a proposed Flight Line sports bar Monday night.

The council voted to deny a rezoning request that would have allowed operation of the bar and an accompanying Budget truck rental business at the northeast corner of South Berkeley Boulevard and East Elm Street.

Councilman Bob Waller made the motion to deny the rezoning, saying city regulations require at least 200 feet of space between the business and residential buildings, and there are two homes within that space.

In other business, program director Mary Mosley appeared before the council to discuss the status of Operation Transition.

"We would like the board to redress, to redefine our program," she said.

The halfway house has 18 bedrooms and can sleep 25-30 people, but under current regulations, only nine women and children may live there. The group has had to turn down 21 women and nine children in a 10-day period, Ms. Mosley said.

"We're not a rehab. We do everything we can to help these ladies," she said.

"You have to be also sympathetic, any way you look at it, it's a boarding house," Mayor Pro tem Chuck Allen said. "We have had horrific problems in downtown with that."

But Ms. Mosley disagreed.

"I really don't want us to be seen as a special population or a boarding house," she said. "These are hard-working Americans who need a bailout."

Allen said he was glad for what the group has accomplished.

"I applaud you for doing what you're doing," he said.

The volunteer-driven organization just received a grant from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. The United Way serves on the local board and provides administration staff for the EFSP program.

Terry Hartley, associate pastor at the Goldsboro Worship Center, also appeared before the council on a mission to promote a new charitable program working to feed children and the elderly.

"We're here to ask for funding," Hartley said. "We believe in our community of Goldsboro, our low to moderate income (populations) are growing. We'd like very much to help children as well as adults."

But community support is the only way they can sustain and develop the program, he said.

City councilmen listened to his plea and asked about the group's current funding status but gave no indication they would come up with any additional money.

Later in the meeting, Deborah Taylor, sister of the late Goldsboro firefighter Carol Taylor, spoke during the public comment period to address her concerns over the lack of city representation at a ceremony honoring fallen firefighters.

"I know no slight was intended," said City Manager Joe Huffman, who asked to speak with Ms. Taylor after the meeting. Several council members gave their condolences.

Also, Thomas Bryce, one owner of a dilapidated property marked for demolition at 1005 S. Slocumb St., spoke before the council to request time to continue making repairs on the property to avoid having it torn down.

"We were in the process of redoing the house before the fire," he said.

He was told to discuss the issue with Huffman today.

The council approved consent agenda items for the state controlled substance tax remittance program and changing the speed limit on South Harding Drive to 35 miles per hour.

Proposed site and landscape plans for Greenwood Middle School, the community gardens and farmer's market and the First African Baptist Church were approved at the meeting. The council members removed item O, a site and landscape proposal for Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro, and instead approved the item with individual action.

The council approved closing the 100 east block of Chestnut Street for the annual Goldsboro Jaycees Fourth of July parade. The 200 south block of Center Street will also close during the street fair accompanying the celebration. The parade will be held Saturday, July 4, starting at 11 a.m.

The council denied a request to close Dexter Street, but photographs revealed the property owners put up a fence and managed to work out the concerns by themselves, Planning Director Randy Guthrie said.

The council did not vote on a proposal to allow U.S. Cellular to build a 199-foot cell phone tower on the south side of Tommy's Road between U.S. 117 North and Deans Lane. The city Plan-ning Commission voted last week to deny the request.