06/18/13 — Council tables changes to animal rules

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Council tables changes to animal rules

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on June 18, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council tabled a decision Monday night to make changes to the city's animal ordinance due to time constraints created by the issue of rezoning areas of Busco Beach & ATV Park into a recreational space.

The proposed animal ordinance changes would have made it a finable offense to feed a feral cat or other stray animal unless the animal is part of a trap-neuter/spay-return program. The changes would also include changing the dogs running at large section of the ordinance to animals running at large, banning all domesticated animals from roaming freely.

The expansion of recreational zoning at Busco Beach drew comments from members of the community and Bryan Boulevard residents, who spoke on both sides of the issue.

April Smith and her father, Don Smith, questioned a portion of the rezoning, saying the new owners, Smart Investors, were abiding by a verbal agreement he had had with former owner Jack Bennett about not allowing riding on a stretch of land directly adjacent to his property, which his daughter now owns.

"Things are better than they were out there for sure," Smith said.

Kyle Pritchard, general manager of the Comfort Suites, said he appreciated the economic impact Busco Beach has on Goldsboro and how many people visiting the park filled his hotel rooms every weekend.

"I've been down there and have seen license plates from 47 different states," Pritchard said.

Another resident of the area, Yvonne Stanley, spoke about the changes from how the park was originally approved in 1994 to what it is today and said that before any action is taken to approve new construction or rezoning, studies should be done on the impact to the wildlife in the area and the effect the park has had on the air quality and the Neuse River, which runs along the border of the park.

Three other public hearings also were held, two of which referred to the same property, a proposed cluster subdivision on Ditchbank Road, owned by J & J Farming Enterprises. The hearings were to gather input on the city annexing the area as well as rezoning the area to allow a higher density of lots for the property.

Jim Daniels, co-owner of J & J Farming Enterprises, said that the construction of the subdivision was a balancing act between the residents of Ditchbank Road, themselves and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, whose jets fly over the proposed location for the subdivision.

Ditchbank Road resident Charles Whitely spoke against the rezoning, saying that it was zoned R-30 by the county for a reason and for the city to go against that zoning would be in opposition to the county's intent.

During a work session before the meeting, Council members got a look at the plans for the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center to be built at Mina Weil Park. The proposed structure is a 32,000-square-foot building including a double basketball court and an adult wing and a separate children's wing.

In other business, a presentation was given by Randy Guthrie, development services director with the city Planning Department, about the results of public meetings to discuss Phase Two of the Center Street Streetscape project. The discussion centered on roundabouts at intersections on Center Street. Proposals that call for one or two roundabouts were the most favored, Guthrie said. The Council discussed which options for the sidewalk would be most cost-effective as well as whether or not to include a sidewalk in the median if a roundabout is included in the project.

Guthrie said the majority of people who responded favored a sidewalk in the median but with the roundabouts Councilman Bill Broadaway thought the sidewalk would be a waste of taxpayer money as roundabouts are not meant to be crossed with pedestrian traffic. Councilman Chuck Allen echoed his opinion. It was agreed it would be easier to add sidewalks later than take them up if no one used them.