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Neighborhood analysis, Wilson, North Carolina online

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overlap to some extent for the addition of a park, school, or street where long
needed, both improves the old and influences the new.

Activities intended to improve the existing community have been assigned
high priority by many local municipal governments throughout the nation.
Likewise, the Federal Government recognizes the need for these activities by
offering encouragement and financial assistances through a federally aided,
locally administered program of urban redevelopment. as used in this report,
the term "urban redevelopment" includes all those activities relating to the
improvement of the community's physical environment and overall livability.
These activities range from the repairing or upgrading of individual structures



by private owners to the acquisition, clearance, replanning, and redevelopment

by the Redevelopment Commission with financial assistance from the Federal

Government.

The Federally aided program of urban redevelopment provides financial

assistance for undertaking three types of redevelopment treatment within the

community. These three approaches to the difficult problem of overcoming

blight include:

Conservation - Directed toward the prevention of urban blight
and is applied to areas with no or little blight. conservation
involves constant maintenance of structures and surroundings,
repair or removal of substandard structures and conditions and
enforcement of minimum housing, building and zoning standards.

Reconditioning - Directed toward the revitalizing of salvable
areas, turning them into sound, healthy neighborhoods by re-
planning, removing congestion providing parks and playgrounds,
reorganizing streets and traffic, and by facilitating physical
remodeling of deteriorated structures.

Redevelopment - Directed toward the acquisition, rehousing of
displaced tenants, clearance and redevelopment of badly
blighted areas in accordance with a redevelopment plan.

Though the three approaches to redevelopment spelled out above first
received nationwide recognition as a result of national redevelopment legisla-
tion, in actuality many cities, including wllson, have been employing them to
some extent over the years. the real significance of redevelopment is that
for the first time, cities have a way to revitalize large slum areas through
the rebuilding of structures, replatting of inadquate lots, redesign of poor
street patterns, provision of needed community facilities and other actions
necessary to improve the city with the utilization of private capital.

In APPLYING TECHNIQUES OF REDEVELOPMENT, ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE
EXAMINATION OF EXISTING LOCAL CODES AND ORDINANCES. ALTHOUGH NOT AS DRAMATIC
AS REDEVELOPMENT, THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF LOCAL CODES AND ORDINANCES
THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY CAN DO MUCH TO ELIMINATE BLIGHT AND BLIGHT CAUSING



ik



FACTORS. To IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM OF REDEVELOPMENT WITHOUT FIRST HAVING ADEQUATE
CODES AND ORDINANCES, WHICH ARE ADEQUATELY ADMINISTERED, WILL LEAD TO THE
FAILURE OF ANY REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.



15



CHAPTER I I
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

COMMUNITY ANALYSIS

The degree to which blight and blighting influences are present in the
community is the subject of the remainder of this report. th i s section
entitled community analysis to a large extent summarizes the findings presented
in the following section, neighborhood analysis.

Factors which have been analyzed throughout the community include housing
conditions, adequacy of community facilities, the presence of mixed land use,
fire calls and blight related factors such as tuberculosis cases, illigitimate
births and venereal disease cases.

hous i ng cond i t i ons - housing conditions are probably the most easily observed
determinant of blighted conditions. two field surveys were used to evaluate
housing conditions in the community, during the second of which each residential
structure was graded based upon its exterior physical appearance from the
fronting street. no attempt was made to determine internal deficiencies not
readily apparent from the street. even for external factors, a more detailed
inspection of any single structure may prove the first evaluation incorrect,
although on a c ommun i t y- w i de basis, the evaluations are considered to be a
valid indication of general conditions prevailing in the community.

Shown on Figure 3 is a generalized statement of housing conditions through-
out THE COMMUNITY. THE AREAS IN RED REPRESENT COMPACT POCKETS OF SUBSTANDARD
HOUSING COUPLED WITH OBSOLETE STREET AND LOT LAYOUT FOR WHICH CLEARANCE AND
REDEVELOPMENT IS THE ONLY LOGICAL SOLUTION. THE AREAS IN BLUE ARE CONSIDERED
TO BE IN A TRANSITION STAGE AND IF PROMPT AND VIGOROUS ACTION IS NOT TAKEN TO
REVERSE "DOWNWARD TRENDS" CLEARANCE AND REDEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED IN THE



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future. The areas shown in gray are considered sound from a housing condition
standpoint and except for normal conservation procedures are not in need of
redevelopment treatment.

During the field surveys, 6,73^ residential structures were counted, of
which ^,3^7 (6k. 6%) were occupied by white people and 2,38l (35-^) were

OCCUPIED BY NON-WHITES. Of THE TOTAL STRUCTURES, 2,100 OR y\ .2.% WERE CON-
SIDERED TO BE SUBSTANDARD. NON-WHITE RESIDENTS OCCUPIED 1,823, 0R o6.Q%, OF
THE SUBSTANDARD STRUCTURES AND WHITE RESIDENTS OCCUPIED 277 J 0R 1 3 ■ ^ /"•

As Figure 3 indicates, Wilson's greatest concentration of substandard
structures is located east of the acl railroad. see appendix table 3;
Planning Districts 10, 11, 12, and 13- There are other smaller concentrations
of substandard structures west of the ACL Railroad where environmental con-
ditions ARE EQUALLY AS POOR. THESE CONCENTRATIONS APPEAR IN PLANNING DISTRICTS

k and 7- l n addition, there are several other areas which soon will be blightec
if "up-grading" is not accomplished in the near future. the most notable of
these areas include the residential areas just north and west of the central
business district and the properties surrounding atlantic christian college.
Improvements are being withheld in these areas in anticipation of commercial
expansion associated with "downtown" and with expansion of the college.
Street Conditions and Fire Calls - West of the ACL Railroad, existing street
conditions are generally good although there is a concentration of unpaved
streets in Planning District 7- East of the Railroad, a considerable portion
of the existing streets are unpaved. the correlation between the location of
unpaved streets and substandard housing conditions is apparent when comparing
Figures 3 AND *+•



17



WILSON, N.C.

HOUSING CONDITIONS



SUBSTANDARD

(RECOMMENDED FOR REDE VE LOPME N



TRANSITIONAL



STANDARD
RESIDENTIAL




FIGURE 3



WILSDN.N.C.

— UNPAVED STREETS
FIRE CALLS 1960



\ f
















J










During 1 960 there were 255 eire calls (not including false alarms) answered
by the City Fire Department. The greatest majority of these calls were to the
Central Business District and the industrial area just to the south of it.
Fire calls to these two areas represented 27. 1 percent of the year's total.
The area to the west of the ACL Railroad accounted for 33-^ percent of the
total calls.

Tuberculosis Cases - During i960 there were 2^ known cases of tuberculosis in
the City. Of these cases, 62.7 percent of 15 cases were located in Planning
Districts 10, 11, and 12. Of the remaining 8 cases, 6 were located in areas
of substandard housing.

Venereal Disease Cases - There were 97 cases of venereal disease reported to
the Wilson County Health Department during i960. Of these cases, 70-1 percent
occurred east of the ACL Railroad in Planning Districts 9j 10, 11, 12 and 13.
The remaining 20-9 percent of the cases occurred in Planning Districts k, ~] , 13
and 15.

Illegitimate Births - During i960, 112 illegitimate births occurred in the City.
Of this total, 8^ cases or 75-0 percent occurred east of the ACL Railroad. The
remaining 28 births were distributed among Planning Districts k, 5, 1> 1 3 j 1^
and 15.

NEIGHBORHOOD ANALYSIS

The remainder of this report presents a brief summary on existing conditions
in each of the 21 Planning Districts enumerated for Wilson.




O STANDARD RESIDENTIAL

• SUBSTANDARD RESIDENTIAL



PLANNING DISTRICT I



Location: Central Business District



Boundaries : Vance Street, ACL Railroad, Kenan Street, Park Avenue, Bragg Street

Area : 1 53 Acres - 16.7 Acres Vacant

Population : 1 960 - 931 , 1 980 - kkk

Major Problems : Traffic Circulation, Parking, Mixed Land Use, Obsolete Comm.
Buildings, Over Zoning

Recommendation for Treatment : Spot Clearance and Rehabilitation in Selected

Areas; Stabilization of Zoning Pattern



1Q



Physical Characteristics

Planning District 1 can be divided into three distinct kinds of areas.
The first of these consist of the eight-block area bounded by Greene Street,
the ACL Railroad, Barnes Street and Pine Street, comprising the "core" of
retail and business activities in the community. During the past few years,
there has been a high degree of structural improvement made in the "core"
area west of Goldsboro Street. Evidence of these improvements is clearly
visible along Nash and Tarboro Streets. The area east of Goldsboro Street
is in a general state of decline that is not likely to end unless remedial
action is taken. this area has the disadvantage of being on the far side
from the majority of the purchasing power in the community complicated by

DIFFICULT ACCESS AND A LACK OF PARKING. In ORDER TO STABILIZE THIS AREA AND

end the out-migration of establishments both public and private, renewal activ-
ities will be requi red.

The second type of area is located west of Pine Street and north of Greene
Street and is characterized by the conflict between business and residential
uses associated with expansion of the "core" area into adjacent residential
areas. These areas are zoned for business and a number of modern buildings
have been constructed along na s h street recently. however, unless unforeseen
events creating a demand for more commercial space occur, it is not likely
these areas will become all commercial any time soon. thus, the conflict
between the large old homes and commercial activities will continue inde-
finitely, of more importance, is the question of whether or not this conflict
will be permitted to develop in other nearby residential areas through the
application of additional commercial zoning in downtown wllson.



?0



The third area is represented by heavy commercial sem i- i ndustr i al area
just south of Barnes Street. The uses in this area serve a vital function in
the economy of the community. though incompatible with uses in the "core"
area, it is necessary for them to have a relatively central location in the
small or medium-sized city. efforts to reduce and eliminate conflict between
the retail section of downtown and produc t i on- or i e nte d areas can be partially
overcome by the proper location of off-street parking facilities and efforts
to overcome the physical una ttra c t i v e ne s s associated with production areas.

the street pattern in planning district 1 is a typical gridiron pattern.
Traffic circulation in the District is hampered by inadequate street widths,
the lack of a loop system around the "core" area and the absence of adequate
off-street parking.

Housing Conditions

There are 173 residential structures providing approximately 273 dwell-
ing units in the District. All dwellings in the District are occupied by white
people. Although a great majority of the residences in the District are slowly
deteriorating, only 10 were considered to be substandard. many of the large
older homes have been converted to apartments and this trend can be expected
to continue.



Indices of Bl ight

Presented below is a summary of certain indices used to determine the

presence of blight in the District.

I ndex Number Percent of City

Tuberculosis Cases 1

Venereal Disease Cases

i lleg i t i mate bl rths



k.


k


0.





c.






21



I NDEX



Number



Fire Calls 39

Substandard Residential Structures 10
3.^ percent of total population

k.o percent of selected indices of blight



Percent jf City

15-3
0.!+



COMMUN I TY FAC I L I T I ES

Schools - Two elementary schools serve the District neither of which is located
within the area itself. however, both are within close walking distance. the
Hearne School building is obsolete and some thought has been given to construc-
ting A NEW BUILDING. THE EXISTING BUILDING IS LOCATED ON A SITE OF 3-0 ACRES
WHICH IS FAR BELOW RECOMMENDED STANDARDS; HOWEVER, THE PRESENCE OF THE RECREA-
TION AREA ADJACENT TO THE SCHOOL PARTIALLY OVERCOMES THIS PROBLEM.

THE 1960 ENROLLMENT OF THE SCHOOL WAS *427 STUDENTS WITH AN AVERAGE OF 2k
STUDENTS PER CLASSROOM. The PRELIMINARY LAND DEVELOPMENT PLAN ESTIMATES THAT
THE SCHOOL WILL HAVE 5^0 STUDENTS AND RECOMMENDS THE ACQUISITION OF ADDITIONAL
LAND TO SERVE THE SCHOOL.

Woodard School had an enrollment of kkk students in January, 1960 with an
average of 30 students per classroom. the school is located on a site of only
2.5 acres and the cost of expansion would be great. the school has an excellent
location and should be continued as a part of the system. however, its site
size requires that its enrollment be limited. any opportunities for increasing
its size should be exploited.

Recreat i on Fac i l i t i es - The Community Recreation Center is relatively accessible
to other children in the district and the publ i c library is located within the
area. Apart from these facilities, the only other recreation area serving the
District is the playfield across from Hearne School. Although there is a
definite need for small play areas within the interior of the district, the cost



?:■■



OF LAND PROHIBITS THEIR ACQUISITION. In ADDITION, THE DISTRICT'S POPULATION

should decline considerably during the next twenty years.

O ther Fac i l i t ies - Sanitary and storm sewer, gas, and electrical facilities are

available throughout the area.

Causes of Blight

The most obvious cause of blight in the residential portions of the
District is the basic conflict between residential and commercial uses. Exces-
sive zoning for downtown business uses has led to the withholding of proper
maintenance and necessary improvements for most of the residential structures
in the District. In addition, the locating of business uses away from the
present "core" area in what are still residential areas has accelerated the
deterioration of several residences in the district.

a wide range of factors has led to the development of substandard con-
ditions in certain parts of the commercial portion of the district. included
are the following: the gradual abandonment of the eastern end of the "core"
by the better retail establishments; a great part of the investment in new
buildings has occurred outside of the present "core" area; the failure of
several property owners along barnes street and east of douglas street to
properly maintain existing structures; a lack of properly located off-street
parking facilities and poor vehicular circulation; the overlapping effect of
the slum area just east of the acl railroad on the "core", and, poor access to
the "core" area.

it is obvious that the solution to blight in the commercial area of the
District will require a number of programs involving a great many different
people. The provision of more off-street parking will HELP, BUT IT IS only
one many needed improvements.



23



Remedial Treatment

A Downtown Improvement Committee has been appointed by the Chamber of
Commerce to direct a rev i tal i zat i on program for the Downtown area. This
Committee is to make an intensive study of the Downtown area and to prepare
a plan for its rev i tal i zat i on.

The most important function of the Committee will be to organize property
owners and merchants and at the same time coordinate with the City's government
so as to establish the machinery necessary to implement needed physical
improvements. The preparation of a Downtown Plan is nothing new; the seccessful
implementation of such a plan is.

It is already obvious that any remedial action in the CBD will involve
the improvement or clearance of obsolete buildings, the provision of more
properly located parking, the improvement of access to and circulation within
the CBD, THE separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic to the extent
possible and many other physical improvements. what is not so obvious but
equally as fundamental to any downtown improvement program are the necessary
policy decisions about zoning, improvement cost sharing, staging schedules,
and f i nanc i ng.

The alternative to a well thought-out program of remedial action is sure
to be the continued decline of a great part of downtown wllson.



2h



2a 3




o STANDARD RESIDENTIAL
• SUBSTANDARD RESIDENTIAL



PLANNING DISTRICTS 2 and 3



Location: North and West of Central Business District



Boundaries : Woodard Street, Pine Street, Gold Street, ACL Railroad, Vance
Street, Bragg Street, Nash Street, Park Avenue, Broad Street,
Raleigh Road, Bynum Street

Area ; 1 82 Acres - 3-^ Acres Vacant

Population : i960 - 2,050, 1980 - 1,980

Major Problems: Scattered pockets of substandard housing; lack of room for
expansion of atlantic christian college; inadequate rights-
of-way on major streets

Recommendation for Treatment : Spot clearance and rehabilitation of struc-
tures THROUGHOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD; CODE EN-
forcement; land acquisition for atlantic
Christian College; redesign of streets system



25



Physical Characteristics

Except for Atlantic Christian College and two small commercial areas,
this neighborhood is composed of residential type uses. during the past ten
or so years, the neighborhood's close-in location has served as a disadvan-
TAGE. Heavy traffic volumes and increasing congestion around the college and
the CBD has detracted from properties along Nash, Barnes, Lee and Gold
Streets. In addition, the instability of the zoning pattern along West Nash
Street has created a feeling that commercial development is likely during
the immediate future.

the street system in the neighborhood is inadequate. it is characterized
by a lack of continuous alignment and inadequate rights-of-way. also, the
lack of a major street leading to the cbd from the north causes traffic to
filter through the neighborhood on local streets.

There have been only 15 building permits issued for new residential
structures in the neighborhood since 1951- however, a number of the larger
structures have been converted to multi-family occupancy. |n a majority of
the cases, there has not been a corresponding increase in off-street parking,
and the number of cars parked at the curb is seriously reducing the traffic
carrying ability of certain streets.

The MOST OUTSTANDING PHYSICAL characteristic of the NEIGHBORHOOD is the

SLOW BUT CLEARLY EVIDENT TRANSITION FROM A ONCE STABLE RESIDENTIAL AREA TO
ONE OF GENERALLY SUBSTANDARD CONDITIONS.

Hous i ng Condi t i qns

The neighborhood contains ^37 residential structures providing approxi-
mately 586 dwelling units. All dwellings in the neighborhood are occupied by
white persons. as mentioned earlier, many of the residences in the neighbor-
hood are deteriorating, especially those located adjacent to the college and



2f-



the cbd. of the total residential structures, k] were considered as substandard
This represents 1-9 percent of the total substandard structures in the City.

There are 85 multi-family residential structures in the neighborhood. Most
of these are in what were once single family homes.
I nd ices of Bl ight

Presented below is a summary of certain indices used to determine the
presence of blight in the neighborhood.



I NDEX



Number



Tuberculosis Cases 2

Venereal Disease Cases

Illegitimate Births

Fire Calls 21

Substandard Residential Structures k]
6.5 percent of total population
3.7 percent of selected indices of blight



Percent of City
8.2
0.0
0.0

8.3

1.9



commun i ty fac i l i t i es

Schools - Woodard and Hearne Schools serve the elementary school students in

the neighborhood. The Hearne School is located within the neighborhood and

Woodard is only one block from the southwestern part of the neighborhood.

(For a discussion of the adequacy of these schools, see page 22). High school

students attend Fike High School, and junior high students attend Coon.

The future school needs of the neighborhood should be served adequately
by existing schools.

Recreat i on Fac i l i t i es - The playfield across from the Hearne School is the
only play area located within the neighborhood. the recreation center and
the park along gold park road are accessible to residents within the neighbor-
HOOD.



27



Although the population of the neighborhood is expected to decrease
slightly by 1 9^0, a need for several small play lots within the area does exist.
O ther Fac i l i t ies - Sanitary and storm sewer, gas, and electrical services are
available throughout the area.

Causes of Blight

a wide range of factors has contributed to the development of blight within
the neighborhood. the gradual deterioration of residential structures around
Atlantic Christian College is due partially to the gradual expansion of the
college grounds. residential lots in this area are small and irregularly
PLATTED. These FACTORS plus THE heavy TRAFFIC GENERATED BY THE college, have
CREATED A CLUTTERED ENVIRONMENT FOR A TWO OR THREE BLOCK RADIUS AROUND THE
MAIN CAMPUS OF THE COLLEGE.

The ONLY OTHER CONCENTRATIONS OF BLIGHT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARE LOCATED

east of Hill Street. This area, like that around the college, has been grad-
ually DECLINING IN CHARACTER FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. HEAVY TRAFFIC

along Lee and Gold Streets has detracted from the residential nature of the
area. However, these streets offer the best access to the industrial area along
Herring Avenue and must be used as major thoroughfares.

The failure of property owners within the area to perform the necessary
maintenance on structures is obvious and is probably the principal cause of
blight throughout the area.

Remedial Treatment

a program of strict code enforcement by the clty's inspection department
coupled with privately initiated conservation, reconditioning and spot clear-
ance activities could reverse the present downward trend within the neighborhood.
in addition, a study by the college of its space needs could be used as a guide







for improvements by property owners adjacent to the college grounds.

Unless privately initiated action is taken within the near future, much
of the area around the college and east of bragg street will have deteriorated
to a point where clearance and redevelopment will be necessary.



29




o STANDARD RESIDENTIAL
• SUBSTANDARD RESIDENTIAL




PLANNING DISTRICT k

Locat i on : Southwest of Central Business District

Boundar i es : Raleigh Road, Broad Street, Park Avenue, Kenan Street, Tarboro
Street, Hominey Swamp Canal

Area : 2^5 Acres - 55-6 Acres Vacant

Population : i960 - 1,898, 1 980 - 1,757

Major Problems : Compact pocket of substandard housing; mixed land use

Recommendation for Treatment: Clearance and Redevelopment; Spot Clearance



30



Physical Characteristics

This neighborhood is characterized by conditions of extreme contrast.
Within the center of the neighborhood is a compact pocket of substandard hous-
ing EQUAL TO THE WORST In THE ClTY. ALONG THE NORFOLK AND SOUTHERN RAILROAD

is a concentration of warehouses, petroleum bulk stations and light industrial
uses intermixed with substandard housing. apart from these two areas, envi-
ronmental conditions within the neighborhood are excellent.

the street pattern in the neighborhood is regular; and except for hlnes
Street, no major streets pass through it. Within the substandard portion of
the neighborhood, all streets are unpaved. outside of this area, street con-
ditions are generally good.

the area along the railroad is zoned for industrial use and some additional
industrial type development can be expected. should this occur, the physical
character of the area along walnut street should improve. if properly developed,
these industries should not affect future residential development within the
ne ighborhood.

During the past ten years, 55 NEW residential structures have been built
within the neighborhood. approximately 20 of these are substandard today while
the remainder are substantial structures within a price range of $12,000 to


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Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Division of Community PlanningNeighborhood analysis, Wilson, North Carolina → online text (page 2 of 6)