01/25/13 — Residents say 'no' to request for apartments

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Residents say 'no' to request for apartments

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on January 25, 2013 1:46 PM

Residents of 12th Street are concerned about the traffic impact that another apartment complex on Lockhaven Drive will have on the Wayne Memorial Drive corridor.

They spoke Tuesday night at the public hearing on the matter while members of the Goldsboro Planning Commission and Goldsboro City Council looked on.

Although there will be no interconnectivity with their street, Norwood Avenue or Wendell Street, concerned citizens came forward to voice their concerns about everything from increased foot traffic and noise to leaves in their yard as a result of the complex.

Six people spoke during the public hearing for the conditional district rezoning request from PIRHL Southeast, which aims to construct a three-building, 72-unit apartment complex on a vacant lot.

While five residents spoke against the proposal, Trey Taylor, a local attorney representing PIRHL, spoke for it, pointing out several members of the development team in the audience who were available to speak with council members or citizens.

Taylor said PIRHL representatives had not anticipated the rezoning request would be before council so quickly and were asking to delay the decision so that the request could be altered to address all of the residents concerns.

Taylor suggested that a fence could be installed, along with the city-required opaque barrier, to deter residents from walking into the 12th Street neighborhood, but that wasn't enough, according to William Aycock.

Aycock said a six-foot fence and hedges wouldn't deter kids who wanted to walk along 12th Street, Wendell Street and 11th Street to get to fast food options on Wayne Memorial Drive, even with the Lockhaven access to Wayne Memorial.

"If they want to go that way, they're going to go that way," Aycock said.

He also raised concerns about drainage, asking the council if the complex would drain into his yard, but the residents' chief concern was with the amount of people who would be in the area now that a hospice center had been completed and a separate senior apartment complex was being constructed.

"I'm just worried about piling another shovelful of people there," Aycock said.

Residents said they weren't against progress or change, but were concerned about the impact it would have on their neighborhood.

One concern raised was about parking, although the site plan for the apartments, which feature two- and three-bedroom floor plans, showed that parking would be contained within the property.

Taylor said the construction would represent an $8.5 million investment into the area and that PIRHL's contractor was planning to use more than 100 local subcontractors during the building phase of the project. The complex would be managed by an on-site leasing office.