05/29/12 — Some neighbors not happy about city permit requests

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Some neighbors not happy about city permit requests

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 29, 2012 1:46 PM

More than 50 citizens gathered at the Goldsboro City Council chambers last Monday night to comment on or to show their support for or opposition to the city's seven public hearings.

Opponents voiced concern at a rezoning request and a conditional use permit request, both on either side of Highway 70 where East Ash Street merges on the eastern side of the city.

Cosimo Santoro requested a rezoning of a plot of land on the south side of East Ash Street between Meadow and Carriage roads from residential to neighborhood business conditional district. Santoro, who owns Mimmo's Pizza and Pasta, said he would like to build his own restaurant so he can stop leasing. His neighbors to the south filed a formal protest against the rezoning, meaning six of seven council members must vote in favor to approve the rezoning request.

The pastor of Park East Church of God spoke against a conditional use permit request by Bennett Buildings to allow retail sales of outdoor storage buildings on an adjacent property to the east.

Wesley Jarman told the City Council that the church members had always known that the land adjacent to it would likely be used for commerce, but said his congregation had hoped the business would be "a nice one."

"We're concerned it does not complement a church with 42 years of history," he said, although he insisted the church was interested in being a good neighbor.

One concern was how close the storage units were to the road, which partially blocked the view of the church from westbound traffic. The applicant spoke and said that was a valid complaint and that he would have them moved back farther away from McClain Road.

Another concern expressed by District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Williams on behalf of the church members was the view of the retail business from the church, although the site plan showed a buffer between the two was planned.

David Simmons spoke in support of his private cemetery conditional use permit, while a neighbor voiced her support as well. One speaker was concerned that it would result in the tenants of her rental property having to look into the cemetery from their house. It was explained, however, that there would be a buffer built there as well, which quelled her concerns.

No one spoke during the remaining public hearings on three proposed Internet cafe locations or on the city's $51,098,766 budget.

The next budget work session is scheduled for May 30 at noon at the City Hall Annex.