08/19/12 — Internet cafe zoning request set for corner

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Internet cafe zoning request set for corner

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on August 19, 2012 1:50 AM

Two public hearings concerning Internet cafes in the city are scheduled during Monday's meeting of the Goldsboro City Council.

The council will entertain a conditional use permit request concerning the northwest corner of the intersection of North William Street and Hooks River Road. The electronic gaming establishment would be housed in the vacant property that was formerly a laundromat.

Wesley Barefoot is requesting the rezoning of the property on the northwest corner of the intersection of North Berkeley Boulevard and Elm Street, just outside the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base gates.

The property is zoned for general business conditional district to allow a used car lot, but the applicant requests the zoning be altered to a conditional district allowing the operation of an Internet cafe. The applicant runs the Internet cafe within blocks of where the new one is planned to open and said he aims to close that one if the zoning request is approved.

There are ordinances that prohibit the operation of Internet cafes within 200 feet of residentially zoned or developed property, churches, schools or other similar operations, but those restrictions can be relaxed at the discretion of the City Council.

A third public hearing concerning the non-contiguous annexation request for property located at the southeast corner of the Buck Swamp Road and Huntington Drive intersection will also be held.

The council's consent agenda will seek to set a date for another annexation public hearing, this time for property at the southwest corner of the intersection of Salem Church and Buck Swamp roads.

Also slated to be approved by consent is a resolution to award a contract for traffic studies, a resolution to purchase a backhoe and refuse truck and a change order for Phase 2 of water treatment plant improvements.

The consent agenda also contains a water sale agreement with Fork Township and a revision of the city's personnel policy, plus a street closing request for the Taste of Wayne and monthly departmental reports.

Two presentations will also be held during the meeting, featuring Pamela Adkins with the Methodist Men's Ministry Center and Terry Jones with God Belongs in My City.

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen will also be sworn in during the meeting. Allen was not sworn in with fellow council members earlier this month because the results from his July 17 election were not yet official.

During the council's work session at 5 p.m. at the City Hall Annex, the City Manager's Office will lead three presentations concerning the N.C. League of Municipalities, council committees and tax foreclosure processes, respectively.

The Planning Department will update the council on its work with an animal ordinance draft which has been tweaked to allow for domestic fowl and Public Information Officer Kim Best is expected to discuss a new joint initiative with the county to host a daily morning show on WGTV.

The council is also expected to continue discussions about the procedure by which the mayor pro tem is selected.

Freshly sworn in council member William Goodman caused a row when he made two motions during his opening remarks, with one calling for the procedure to be changed and another for District 1 Councilman Michael Headen to be named mayor pro tem.

There is no formal procedure for the selection of mayor pro tem in the city ordinances, as the charter only states that the position, whose powers only consist of performing the duties of the mayor if the mayor is absent. The ordinance states that the mayor pro tem has no fixed term of office and "serves in such capacity at the pleasure of the remaining City Council and mayor."

Goodman said he wanted the procedure to the way it was during the 1990s when it rotated annually between white and black council members.

Goodman served as the District 3 council representative for 17 years until his resignation in 2004 due to a felony conviction.

Allen has been mayor pro tem since 2004.