Housing proposal remains on hold

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 23, 2004

WOODLAND – A decision to table the issue of a proposed housing complex remains that way today after members of Woodland’s Town Council convened Wednesday for a Special Called meeting.

Town Mayor Margaret Burgwyn adjourned the meeting shortly after it was called to order for failure of a motion to un-table the issue and schedule a public hearing.

According to the minutes from the last meeting on December 2, Uhuru Community Development Corporation president Anthony Clark told council that he had submitted an application for a Capacity Grant to help fund the subdivision, which he proposed would provide housing for approximately 41 low to mid-income families if the town agreed to partner with the organization on the project.

The property, which is zoned R-15 (residential), is located on land south of Loblolly and Hazel Street and east of Dogwood Street, was purchased earlier this year. According to records on file with the Northampton County Register of Deeds Office, a 25.98-acre parcel of property was transferred in ownership from Johnny W. Cofield to Uhuru Community Development Corporation on June 21.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Burgwyn requested that the Council set a time and date for a public hearing on the proposed grant for the housing complex. Upon that request, Council members were silent.

&uot;Does this mean the board doesn’t want to hear from the public concerning this matter,&uot; asked the Mayor.

Again, there was no response from Council members, to which Burgwyn’s request died for the lack of a motion. She then adjourned the meeting.

However, Councilman Les Clark did offer comment to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald after the close of the meeting.

&uot;It’s not that I’m for or against this proposal; I just need more time to study this issue,&uot; he said. &uot;It was the Mayor who suggested at our last meeting that we should consider tabling this issue in order for us to have more time to review all the material that Mr. (Anthony) Clark provided concerning the capacity grant. We agreed to that suggestion and now she wanted to come back here today and un-table it. Personally, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t need to. We had already agreed to talk about this issue again at our Jan. 6 and that’s when we’ll discuss this matter.&uot;

Les Clark said the main concerns he wants to address at the Jan. 6 meeting deal with water and sewer, access roads and drainage issues.

Prior to the meeting, one the project’s opponents, Joseph &uot;Joe&uot; Blythe, said he had a petition signed by other town residents who are against the construction of the housing complex.

&uot;I have contacted all but one property owner and every single one of them is against it,&uot; he said.

According to Anthony Clark, in order for Uhuru to secure the grant, a public hearing must be held prior to January 17, which is the deadline for submitting the paperwork.