06/02/09 — Hearing reset because of map, land description questions

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Hearing reset because of map, land description questions

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 2, 2009 1:46 PM

A public hearing on a rezoning request by Jim Daniels of Daniels Development will have to be rescheduled because of confusion over a map and description of the property involved.

County commissioners at their May 19 session had scheduled the hearing, and one for property owned by Commissioner and Planning Board member Steve Keen, for June 16.

The hearing will be held as scheduled on the Keen request. Commissioners are expected today to reschedule the hearing for the Daniels' request.

In a related issue, commissioners will hold a public hearing at 9:15 a.m. on amending the sign section of the county's zoning ordinance.

A briefing session will be held at 8 a.m. followed by the board meeting at 9 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

Daniels has petitioned the county to rezone roughly 16 acres on N.C. 111 at Ditchbank Road from residential to commercial shopping.

The property is located on both sides of Ditchbank Road and that is where the problem arose, county Planning Director Connie Price said.

When the Planning Board voted at its May meeting to recommend the change, members saw the correct map. However, the memo the board saw explaining the request did not accurately reflect the map, Price said.

It was only after commissioners had established the public hearing date that the problem was discovered.

"What they saw on the map and what was on the memo were not the same," Price said.

The memo did not reflect that the property was located on both sides of Ditchbank Road.

Part of the confusion, Price said, was the result of two separate rezoning requests being filed by Daniels.

"What the commissioners saw was not what the Planning Board saw," Price said.

Price said he will bring the request back before the Planning Board at its June 9 meeting.

It was the county's lack of sign and parking lot standards that last month prompted the county planning staff to recommend against a portion of Keen's rezoning request.

Keen has asked that 70 aces on the south side of U.S. 70 West near the Rosewood Wal-Mart be rezoned. The property currently is zoned Residential-20.

He has asked that the front 50 acres be rezoned commercial shopping and the other 20 as Residential-15.

Keen plans to build a housing development on the 20-acre site. Rezoning the property would reduce minimum lot size from 20,000 to 15,000 square feet. The planning staff recommended the change.

However, it recommended that the other property not be rezoned because of appearance concerns since the county does not have sign and parking standards.

Keen and Planning Board Chairman Chris Cox, who is marketing the property for Keen, recused themselves at the Planning Board meeting during which the board voted 3-1 to recommend both portions of Keen's requested. Keen also recused himself at the commissioners' meeting.

Price said it is important because U.S. 70 is a major corridor into Goldsboro. When Planning Board members raised questions abut the Daniels' property, Price said N.C. 111 handles mostly local traffic and that the traffic volume is not as high.

Price said he would have no problem recommending the project if the county had the sign and parking lot standards in place.

Commissioners several months ago held a public hearing on the parking lot standards. No action was taken and commissioners referred it back to the Planning Board.

County attorney Borden Parker is looking in to whether the lapsed time will require another hearing will have to be held before commissioners can act.