County Denies 2 Of 3 Rezoning Requests

Johnston County Commissioners listened to concerns neighbors and unanimously rejected two of the 3 rezoning requests before the board at their Sept. 4th monthly meeting.

Tractor Trailers Parking In Residential Subdivision
In May 2017,  the County received a report of a potential zoning violation at 309 Jeribec Drive in the Kings Ridge Subdivision off Two Claude Road in western Johnston County.  The property is owned by Ehrol Cromwell of League City, Texas. Someone complained about tractor trailers blocking the residential street.  In May 2018, the occupants at the home, Jeremiah and Lakeitha Parker, filed a rezoning petition and special use application seeking to have the 0.94 acre property rezoned from Residential to General Business-Special Use.

Mrs. Parker told Commissioners at the Sept. 4th rezoning hearing she did not know the tractor trailers were a problem. Parker said she and her husband were truck drivers, along with another relative. They drove the 3 semi’s during the week and came home on the weekend to visit their family.  Parker said the trucks were empty and were parked in the driveway.  She claimed another truck driver lived in the same subdivision and had been parking his truck there for 18 years without a problem.

Two neighbors on Jeribec Drive spoke in opposition of the rezoning.   One neighbor said one tractor trailer frequently blocks the narrow street. The neighbor said her partner had a heart issue and if an ambulance were needed, it might be delayed. She said the streets, which are not state maintained, are worse that her former hometown of Chicago. The Kings Ridge Subdivision Homeowners Association is not active but the HOA rules do not allow tractor trailers in the community, she said.

A second neighbor said they have been held up getting to their home by a tractor trailer blocking the street.

Commissioner Allen Mims of Clayton questioned why the rezoning request was for General Business-Special Use. Mims said that rezoning district did not allow residential home sites and if it were approved the house on the property would not be allowed.

Parker said their trucks had been parked at their home on weekends for several years and wanted to continue.

According to the Planning Department, the staff had difficulty in making contact with the applicant after the May 2017 zoning complaint and recommended the request be denied. The Johnston County Planning Board also recommended denial.  After listening to the testimony and reviewing photos of the site, Commissioners rejected the rezoning 7-to-0.

Construction Equipment, Commercial Vehicle Parking
In a second rezoning request, Randy Maine requested rezoning of 0.9 acres out of a 3.23 residential acre tract at 4913 Lee Drive, Garner off Cornwallis Road.

The Planning Department said the site was a potential zoning violation in April 2018.  Afterwards, Maine applied for rezoning.

Sheila Parker of Four Oaks said Lee Drive is a dead end road and is not state maintained.  She said traffic is in and out of Maine’s property 7 days a week and the site is an eyesore.

Maine said he remodels houses. He claimed the complaint stemmed from having his own home remodeled earlier this year when subcontractors delivered material to his residence and left a dump trailer for debris in the driveway.  Maine said he has 6 family members living at the home and 9 vehicles. He told county commissioners people had spoken falsely of him since he has lived there the past 4 years. And during that time the property has been improved.

He said a food truck and two campers were stored in the back yard.  Parker said since the August Planning Board meeting, Maine had moved vehicles to the rear of the residential lot but made no other improvements.

Maine said none of his employees drive to his home. He says they all meet him on jobsites. He stated no construction material was stored on site but did admit any leftover material from a job might be placed in the back yard until needed for the next project.

Maine said the largest vehicles in the yard were a Ford F-350 truck, a dump trailer and a flat trailer.

Maine said he had dumped construction debris in the back yard in the past but that was no longer a practice.

The Johnston County Planning Board had recommended the petition be denied.

Commissioner Ted Godwin said Maine was before the Board because of a zoning violation and he would be voting against the rezoning. Commissioner Chad Stewart questioned if the rezoning were denied what would prevent the applicant from doing this again.  Commissioners voted 7-to-0 to deny the rezoning request.

Former Restaurant Site Rezoned
In the third and final rezoning request, Commissioners unanimously agreed to rezone a former McGee’s Crossroads restaurant site.

Jamal Ali Rahhal and Mohammed M. Mustafa received approval to rezone 1.7 acres at 10754 Highway 50, just north of Highway 210, from Community Business to General Business. The site includes a former restaurant building but most recently the property has been used for yard sales.

Rahhal told county leaders he wanted to rezone to allow for flex-retail space on the property but had no definite plans. One possibility is a small takeout pizza business or similar restaurant.

In a motion by Commissioner Ted Godwin and seconded by Commissioner Cookie Pope, the rezoning was unanimously approved.