01/26/12 — Decision delayed on renderings of downtown business facades

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Decision delayed on renderings of downtown business facades

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on January 26, 2012 1:46 PM

Goldsboro's City Council delayed a decision on a Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. initiative to prepare renderings of buildings in support of DGDC's facade grant program Monday, led mostly by Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Allen's opinion that the initiative should wait until after the council's retreat, scheduled for Feb. 16 and 17.

The proposal would have allocated $8,000 from the Municipal Service District Fund to pay an artist with design, architecture and historic building experience to work between late February and June to create professional renderings of downtown properties to illustrate the potential outcome of a facade grant project within the guidelines, codes and other requirements placed on downtown buildings.

DGDC Director Julie Thompson said a similar effort in the mid-1990s resulted in all of the illustrated properties being improved within eight years.

The item, which was on the consent agenda, was pulled after Allen suggested a decision be delayed until after the retreat.

DGDC Design Committee Chairperson Glenn Barwick spoke up and informed the council that a property owner at the corner of Ash and Center streets had already said he would be interested in renovating his facade based largely on the proposed renderings.

"I'm not saying do it or not to do it," Allen said, saying he only wanted to delay the decision.

Still, Barwick seemed to convince District 1 Councilman Michael Headen that the project needed to go on as proposed.

"I don't think we should hold up progress," he said, with District 3 Councilman Don Chatman appearing to agree.

Mrs. Thompson further said the timeline for the project, which would result in finished renderings in June, was important since the outcomes would assist the DGDC in putting together a budget for the facade grants.

Due to Allen's request to delay the decision, the item was pulled from the consent agenda and by the regular meeting, all of the council members were in agreement that the decision should be delayed, albeit until Feb. 6, as Allen's motion to postpone, seconded by District 6 Councilman Jackie Warrick, passed unanimously.

The council's other item to consider for individual action was also passed unanimously, although a caveat was added that Donald Smith's recreational vehicle park would not be permitted to have a septic tank. RVs using the park on Bryan Boulevard would be required to have their own, portable tanks.

After about 15 minutes of closed session to discuss property acquisition and litigation matters -- something the council has discussed in meetings dating back to December -- the council announced its intention to purchase property on North Berkeley Boulevard using street bond funds as part of the Berkeley Boulevard widening project.

The land, which is adjacent to the Goldsboro Commons Shopping Center, had to be purchased due to stormwater concerns, while most other widening propositions were achieved through easements.

The city paid $369,000 for the property as part of its right of way acquisition phase of the widening project.

City Planning Director Randy Guthrie said that plot of land would be the largest acquired for the project.

The council's consent agenda contained the setting of a public hearing to discuss the closing of Mulberry Street where it crosses the railroad track near St. Mark's Church. The hearing will be held during the Feb. 20 council meeting and the board will vote on the measure at that same meeting.

Three appointments to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission and the monthly reports rounded out the consent agenda, which was approved by a role call vote following a motion by Allen and a second by Warrick.