SMITHFIELD – Members of the Smithfield Town Council approved a rezoning request from the County of Johnston. In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to rezone 49.02 acres of land on Yelverton Grove Road, south of US 70 Business East, from Residential-Agriculture to Office and Institutional zoning. The tract is located on both sides of Yelverton Grove Road.
In March 2023, Johnston County Commissioners signed an option to purchase the land from John Timothy Hughes at a price of $40,000 per acre. Originally, the tract was identified as 47 acres in size. During the Smithfield rezoning hearing, the land was identified as 49.02 acres. The property has a current tax value of $178,650.
In March, Commissioner Vice Chairman Patrick Harris suggested the site could be used for a new Department of Social Services and Administrative Building. Other potential uses include an Emergency Management logistics warehouse.
During the August 8 public hearing, County Manager Rick Hester said there were no specific plans for the site.
The County expressed interest in the site being annexed into the Smithfield city limits, although government property is tax-exempt. The property would be served by Town of Smithfield water and sewer and Duke Energy electric. It is also within the Smithfield fire district.
Mayor Andy Moore asked County Manager Hester if sewer allocation for the county buildings would be deducted from Smithfield’s sewer allocation or from the County. Hester was unable to answer that question, but promised the Mayor he would have more information on the site in the near future.
The 49 acre tract is a few hundred yards away from the recently opened Johnston County Detention Center, and the soon to be opened Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.