The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 3, 2012

County Board to conduct controversial public hearing

Staff Writer
Calvin Adkins

TARBORO — A public hearing will be called for a rezoning request by a landowner to build 20 duplexes for senior citizens in the Crisp Community during the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the Edgecombe County Administration Building.

Landowners near the site are attempting to block the proposed development. At least eight landowners adjacent to the 14.74 acre tract located off North Carolina Hwy. 124 spoke against the rezoning request made by Pinetops Community Development Corporation at the Oct. 15 meeting of the Edgecombe County Planning Board.

The planning board recommended to deny the rezoning application. As part of the procedure the matter was forwarded to the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners last month. The board moved to hold a public hearing on the issue.

Realtor/Broker Eddie Williams of Greenville, the owner of the land, believes that his opposition is racially motivated. Williams is African-American and the adjacent landowners are white.

Williams proposal includes an on-site manager and security officer, and a community center that he said would provide health care and educational activities that would be made available to non-residents of the development.

It’s not the first time for Williams attempted to develop the property.

In 2008, he proposed a mobile home park in the same area and was met with the same opposition. He says he understood the fight against the mobile home park, but doesn’t understand why the proposed seniors project is drawing opposition.

In another, matter the board will call a public hearing for the Edgecombe Community College quarter-cent sale tax that will allow two new building at two different sites.

Edgecombe County voters approved the tax during the last election by a margin of 360 votes.

The public hearing is a formality that the board must adhere to before the tax can be enacted.