10/08/13 — City Council approves $700,000 building sale; limits riding at Busco

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City Council approves $700,000 building sale; limits riding at Busco

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on October 8, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council has voted to rezone the Busco Beach and ATV Park property and to sell the property where the former Arts Council of Wayne County once stood.

Council placed new restrictions on the park, which is located off Bryan Boulevard. The riding of ATVs will not be allowed from 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. seven days a week in a compromise between the park owner and neighboring residents.

The move is a change from the proposed restrictions offered by the park owner, Smart Investors, which is owned by Jimmy Pierce. Pierce proposed no riding from midnight until 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday mornings, with open riding on weekends.

"They need to quit at a reasonable hour seven days a week out there," Councilman Chuck Allen said. "I would say from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. you can't ride."

Councilman William Goodman suggested not allowing riding after 9 p.m., but the rest of the council said they felt that was too early.

Other planned restrictions to be imposed on the property would include a fence to be erected on neighboring property bought out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Floyd to eliminate recreational ATV riding on those properties.

Council also agreed to sell land at the corner of Ash Street and Spence Avenue, where the building housing the Arts Council of Wayne County once stood to The Little Bank for $700,000.

The city bought the property for $500,000 in July 2011 to allow the Arts Council to move to its current location on John Street. The Council had planned on converting the building into an Air Force museum, but the project was eventually found to be too expensive and the property was put up for sale in February.

After spending about $435,000 on museum feasibility studies, upkeep and finally demolition of the building, the city sold the property at a loss of about $235,000.

In other business, Council member Bill Broadaway made a motion to move an item relating to the approval of a proposed hookah lounge and coffee shop on Ash Street from the consent agenda to an item requiring individual action.

"I have been getting so many calls about this saying that people don't want that type of business in that area," Broadaway said. "It's in my district and I'd like to move it to an individual action item and I am going to vote against it."

The item was moved and unanimously voted down, with Council members saying they based their decision on the proposed business not fitting in with surrounding businesses and the public safety hazard the establishment could pose to the area.

City officials had gathered information about similar businesses in surrounding municipalities. The only reported problems were from the Smithfield Hookah House after the establishment received an ABC permit. No problems with the establishment were reported prior to that.

The proposed lounge would not have had an ABC permit.

Also moved to an individual action item was the proposed use of the former Party Central location at the corner of Corporate Drive and Clingman Road as a meeting place for rent, with ABC permits, much as it was under former owner Cid Yow.

A request was made by the current owner, Jerald Huffman, to have the decision deferred. The request was denied.

Huffman appealed to the Council during the public comment period to have the request denied without prejudice, which was granted. A denial without prejudice allows Huffman to re-introduce the conditional use permit application.

Council members said the application was denied based on past criminal activity at the location, its potential for posing a public health hazard, and its use not meshing with surrounding businesses.

The Council also voted to sell a house and property on Gulley Street that had been scheduled for demolition. The house is jointly owned by the city and Wayne County. The expenses associated with upkeep of the property are shared, as will be the profits after it is renovated and sold.

The Council gave the city manager authority to negotiate a contract to plan the third block of the Streetscape project on Center Street with a fountain at the proposed Walnut Street traffic circle. The contract is set to be reimbursed through a 2013 TIGER grant and is not to exceed $175,000.

Councilman Michael Headen said that he had a bad feeling about paying the design fees over and over for each block of Streetscape.

"It keeps being more and more. I'm seeing red herrings and rabbits coming out of hats. I'm not feeling good about this. I'm not seeing any stability. It keeps rising," Headen said.

Approval was given for a game room meeting place on U.S. 117 South at Old Mount Olive Highway. The establishment is located in a shopping center and does not have an ABC permit.

The Council approved a revised list of 10 houses slated for demolition in the coming weeks at an expected cost of $94,000.