07/08/12 — Chickens could come home to roost in city

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Chickens could come home to roost in city

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on July 8, 2012 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro City Council will begin its work session Monday at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Annex to tackle a relatively light agenda and view three presentations from department heads.

The first concerns changes to the animal ordinance, which would add a new section relaxing regulations on domestic fowl.

The council will have its first look at draft ordinance 91.50, deemed the "chicken ordinance," which would allow for an exemption for domestic fowl within the city limits by amending the current animal prohibition that doesn't allow fowl within 200 yards of dwellings, hospitals, schools, churches or eating establishments.

With an appropriate license, citizens would be allowed to keep up to 10 chickens at or adjacent to single-family dwellings or other residential structures, although roosters would not be exempt unless they are located on a bona fide farm.

Sally Johnson with the city's planning department said the ordinance came about when there was an inquiry from a resident who wanted to keep chickens within the city limits. Cities across the state have begun to create ordinances that allow for "urban farming," she said.

Parks and Recreation will also discuss the conversion of sand bunkers at the city's golf course to grass bunkers, which department head Scott Barnard said will reduce maintenance costs at the course while not altering the course's difficulty much.

He will propose replacing 14 of the courses nearly 40 sand bunkers with grass hazards. The course is currently being converted to Champion Bermuda grass greens and will reopen after the transition is completed in August.

City Manager Scott Stevens is also expected to speak on the prospect of selling 40 acres of city-owned land on Arrington Bridge Road to Goldsboro Farms.

The council's regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Historic City Hall and will feature a presentation from the Arts Council of Wayne County on the economic impact of the arts throughout North Carolina and Wayne County.

Monday's consent agenda contains a noncontiguous annexation request for the southeast corner of the intersection of Buck Swamp Road and Huntington Drive as well as a conditional use permit for the operation of a used car lot at the former location of Matthews Motors on North Berkeley Boulevard.

Site plans for the Wayne Water District Office, Wayne Country Day School and Strickland Law Firm are also on the consent agenda, as well as the relocation of utility lines on Salem Church Road due to the construction of the new U.S. 70.

Progress Energy's transition from overhead electrical facilities on Center Street to underground as part of the Streetscape project will be on the consent agenda, as well, with estimates of the cost placed at $161,000.

A second agreement concerning the city's computerized signal system and the awarding of bids for this year's sanitary sewer rehabilitation project are on the agenda, along with a memorandum allowing Police Chief Jeff Stewart to enter an agreement with the city of Charlotte to provide law enforcement assistance during and after the 2012 Democratic National Convention being held there in September.

The sole item on the agenda requiring individual action concerns a rezoning request for property at the northeast corner of North Berkeley Boulevard and Ridgecrest Drive. The property owner is asking for the zoning to be changed from office and institutional to neighborhood business to allow for either retail shopping or a combination of retail shopping and a sit-down restaurant.

The Planning Commission approved the rezoning request for the second time at its June meeting, but the Council denied the request at its April 16 meeting, citing the lack of access.

This version of the request, however, includes an additional access to Summit Drive as well as an NCDOT-approved right-in/right-out curb cut from Berkeley Boulevard.

A formal protest has been filed against the request, meaning the Council will have to vote in a supermajority, six out of seven votes, for the measure to be approved.