11/28/12 — Officials reject variance request

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Officials reject variance request

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 28, 2012 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro Planning Commission, meeting in its capacity as the Board of Adjustments, denied a variance request from Larry Hill for property at the corner of Park Avenue and Kornegay Street Monday, as Hill is seeking to convert the single-family home into a duplex.

The Board found there was no hardship which would allow for the property to be excluded from the residential requirement that a duplex apartment must be 13,500 square feet or larger.

The building in question, on the southwest corner of the intersection, is only 10,500 square feet.

Board members said they felt the ability to grant that variance was out of their scope of authority, especially since adjustments like that are governed strictly by state law.

While nearly every member voiced their support for Hill's plans to renovate the home, which had been neglected, they said they saw no legal way for them to grant the variance.

Board members had to vote on each individual merit of the variance request and, when not all were unanimously approved as required by state law, felt bound to deny the request.

Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the only avenue remaining for Hill, who lives across the street from the property requested for the duplex, is for staff to ask the Goldsboro City Council about changing its rules governing duplexes, a process that could take months.

While rezoning the property to allow for multi-family use could be an option, the surrounding properties are zoned for single-family use, meaning the rezoning could be considered an illegal instance of "spot-zoning."

Had the property operated previously as a duplex, it could have been rezoned under the city's non-conforming use clause, but that wasn't the case either.

Hill and the couple who own the home were both in the audience and were nonplused with the board's decision, saying not being able to renovate the building was causing a hardship for them.