Goldsboro City Council OKs conditional use permits
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on March 7, 2012 1:46 PM
The Goldsboro City Council made short work of its agenda Monday, approving a consent agenda containing 14 items and delivering decisions on two separate items concerning conditional use permits.
The first conditional use permit concerned Cedric Britt's request to open an electronic gaming facility on New Hope Road between Pinemont Circle and North Berkeley Boulevard. That permit was recommended for denial by the Planning Commission at its February meeting.
When it was presented there, however, Britt was not present to explain that he viewed the conditional use permit as a simple expansion of his current business across the parking lot. Those on the commission recommended the denial of the permit because of parking issues, proximity to residential areas and because it would be in violation of the spacing requirements of those businesses.
Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Allen and District 6 Councilman Jackie Warrick recalled Britt's explanation at the meeting, however, and at the regular meeting moved to approve the request in spite of the commission's recommendation.
"He just wants two locations instead of one," Allen said.
District 3 Councilman Don Chatman, however, seemed to be concerned about the precedent that move could set.
"How are we going to handle the next ones?" he asked, referring to future requests to open up gaming facilities so close to one another.
"I don't see how it could cause any problems that aren't already there," Allen replied.
Chatman, a former planning director, insisted that the request needed to meet the requirements.
Mayor Al King concurred, noting that he wouldn't vote against the Planning Commission's recommendation since its members had looked more carefully at the request.
"For some reason, they didn't want us to do that," he said. "And I understand where they're coming from. I wouldn't want these things -- how many can you have in that area?"
King asked if the topic should be tabled for more discussion, but Allen and Chatman suggested it should be put to a vote.
During the regular meeting, Warrick moved to approve the permit with Allen seconding that motion. Chatman and King voted in opposition, but the motion still passed 4-2. District 6 Councilman Michael Headen was not present at the meeting.
The second conditional use permit, for a convenience store at the corner of Cuyler Best and New Hope roads, was not widely discussed and passed 6-0.
Earlier concerns from a speaker during the public hearing on the permit concerning a blue line stream on the property were quelled when investigation showed there was not a blue line stream on the property.
Other business conducted at the meeting included a presentation from Sarah Merritt, the director of the Arts Council of Wayne County, who announced the Arts Council's plan to acquire a whirligig sculpture -- a rotating structural piece created by a Wilson native. She aims to place the sculpture at one of the parking lots on John Street near the Arts Council's downtown office.
Another presentation by Finance Director Kaye Scott offered up some prospective budget amendments the council could look for in the next year or so, from attorney fees to fuel for the city's fleet of vehicles.
Last fiscal year, the city came up 11 weeks short in its fuel projections and was forced to reallocate $230,000 from the General Fund's unappropriated fund balance to the Public Works Department's fuel budget. Rising gas prices had left the city with enough money to purchase gas through April 6.
This year Mrs. Scott said consumption rates seemed to suggest diesel fuel would last through the end of April, while gasoline funds would run out inn the third week of May. That will likely mean an extra $125,000 will need to be appropriated before the fiscal year ends June 30.
Mrs. Scott also said she and Stevens had discussed the purchase of five police cars at the final cost of $150,000. That $30,000 price per unit would include the cost of outfitting each car with the necessary technologies and accessories, with some of that cost likely coming from the police department's drug forfeiture money.
Mrs. Scott said she was also receiving checks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that would soon alleviate costs encumbered during cleanup from Hurricane Irene.
Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard presented details about his department's needs, especially concerning compliance standards for playground surfacing. New standards will require the resurfacing of each of the city's playgrounds with engineered fibers, a move that will cost just less than $100,000. Barnard also sought to make a case for new greens on the golf course which will cost about $62,000.
Consent agenda items included the site and landscape plans and revisions for Classic Chrysler, the VA Clinic, Stevenson Honda of Goldsboro and Spence Apartments.
Two budget amendments were passed by consent, both allowing Barnard to proceed with projects in his department. One authorized $10,000 to make the city's pools compliant with new standards while another gave the department the ability to pay for the second third of the city's Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant. The money will be matched dollar for dollar through reimbursement.
The traffic separation study, along with the closing of West Mulberry Street, audit services for the fiscal year and drug forfeiture funds rounded out the consent agenda.