03/20/12 — Neighborhood says 'no'

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Neighborhood says 'no'

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on March 20, 2012 1:46 PM

Half a dozen people turned out to speak during a rezoning public hearing at the Goldsboro City Council's meeting Monday night in Historic City Hall, where council members heard pleas from residents to deny the change in zoning for the corner of Ridgecrest Drive and North Berkeley Boulevard.

The zoning request seeks to change the plot's zoning code from office and institutional to neighborhood business with the aim of developing a building that would be used to house a retail establishment, a restaurant or some combination of the two uses.

It's not the first time that property has been considered for rezoning. In January 2005, the City Council denied rezoning the land from residential to general business after four people spoke against the request at a public hearing.

In January 2006, the zoning was changed from residential to office and institutional and the site and landscape plans for an office building were approved Feb. 5, 2007, although no construction ever occurred.

Opponents to the rezoning said they feared the impact of additional traffic on Ridgecrest Drive -- where the only entrance into the new structure is located according to the most recent site plans.

Justin Schad, a representative from Charlotte-based Faison and Associates, which is representing the prospective buyer of the land, said that the N.C. Department of Transportation is still considering allowing a "right in, right out" cut to allow traffic to enter from and exit to northbound Berkeley Boulevard.

Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Allen said he was particularly interested in seeing a more direct entrance to the property to ease traffic on Ridgecrest Drive.

"It's not fair to this neighborhood," he said.

The Planning Commission will determine a recommendation for the land at its March 26 meeting and will present it at the council's April 2 meeting.

The other public hearing at the meeting did not inspire any public comment, although a presentation from Special Olympian Heather Pardue led to a standing ovation from those gathered. Ms. Pardue received the silver medal in Athens, Greece, during the Special Olympics and presented each council member with a pin and a trading card.

In other business, through the approval of the consent agenda, the city clarified its flood damage prevention ordinance in accordance with state law and scheduled a public hearing for the closing of Poplar Street from Newsome Street and its northern end. The hearing will be held April 16.

Council also awarded a bid for lead-based paint abatement and housing rehabilitation for the house at 500 E. Elm St., drew up an ordinance preventing registered sex offenders from using recreation facilities and approved the acquisition by the police department of federal drug forfeiture money.

Mayor Al King also proclaimed March Goldsboro Toastmasters Anniversary Month and Brain Injury Awareness month.