High school receives permit to build sports complex
By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The Greenville Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a special-use permit for the construction of an athletics complex on 14th Street.
The special-use permit was requested for a large piece of farmland near John Paul II Catholic High School.
The board originally was scheduled to vote on the permit in December, but the vote was delayed due to concerns that not all surrounding residents had been notified of the plan. After hearing a presentation on the project from city planner Elizabeth Blount, board members unanimously approved the permit last week.
The permit hearing featured a time for those who opposed to the project to voice concerns, but no one spoke. Blount said notice of the hearing was given to all nearby residents and advertised in local media.
Craig Conticchio, principal of John Paul II, came before the board to answer questions and advocate for the permit.
Blount and city staff recommended approval of the permit, with a list of conditions for the developer and school. The conditions included provisions relating to the use of lights and speaker systems, to minimize the effect they would have on the surrounding neighborhoods.
According to these provisions, no light shall be directed towards or placed in such a manner to shine directly into a public roadway or residential premises. The school is required to locate and shield the complex’s lighting to prevent it from encroaching beyond the property line.
Additionally, no amplified sound is allowed at the complex, with the exception of scheduled athletic events.
The permit also stipulates the complex only may be used for official school events. The permit is immediately nullified in the event the property is no longer associated with the school or the complex is used improperly.
The school is required to maintain parking for the complex, and cannot allow parking or driveways anywhere alongside the perimeter of the site abutting adjacent residential structures. In addition, the school is required to complete a traffic analysis and prepare it for review by the city, and adhere to all necessary code and road improvements resulting of the study prior to occupancy.
A site plan also must be reviewed and approved by the city.
Conticchio said the school welcomed all of these conditions, and officials were glad the surrounding residents were cooperative with their requests. He said the school wanted to make sure its operations were not creating a nuisance.
“We just want to be good neighbors,” he said. “We understand all of the suggestions made by the neighborhoods, and thank them for coming forward to speak with us.”
The property is located in the 2800 block of East 14th St. between the Quail Ridge and Planter’s Walk subdivisions, north of Fire Tower Road. The site would be developed in conjunction with the high school, which purchased and renovated a church building next to the site.
Special-use permits are sought so landowners can pursue projects that don’t fall under the permitted zoning. According to Pitt County tax records, the land has a residential zoning.
Blount said athletic complexes are allowed as a special use if they are linked to a school campus. The 23.49-acre parcel was purchased in May for $1.3 million by RB4 Fourteenth Street, a limited liability company,whose registered agent is Jack Brock, an attorney with Colombo Kitchin.
The goal is to begin construction on the complex in early 2018 and complete the project by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Contact Seth Gulledge at Sgulledge@reflector.com and 329-9579. Follow him on Twitter @GulledgeSeth