09/03/12 — Internet cafes on Goldsboro council agenda

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Internet cafes on Goldsboro council agenda

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 3, 2012 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council will vote on two Internet cafe operations that were recommended for denial by the Planning Commission when the council meets Tuesday.

The City Council generally meets on the first and third Mondays of each month, but will meet Tuesday night due to Labor Day.

Applicants in both Internet cafe cases ask that parking and setback requirements be waived -- waivers the Planning Commission did not recommend granting.

The first operation is proposed for the northwest corner of North William Street and Hooks River Road, where a three-unit shopping center contains a gas station and convenience store. The electronic gaming operation would operate in the former laundromat unit.

The conditional use permit indicates there would be eight computers and eight gaming machines along with two employees. The city requires two parking spaces per machine and one per employee, but there are only 18 parking spaces on the site -- less than half of the 46 required.

The property where the business is asking to open is also adjacent to residentially zoned property. The city requires a 200-foot buffer between such establishments and residential properties, churches and schools.

The other Internet cafe was proposed to open at the corner of South Berkeley Boulevard and East Elm Street, but the applicant asked ahead of the public hearing that the request be denied.

The proposed operator of the gaming establishment runs another Internet cafe just north of the property requested for rezoning and was intending to close that operation if the rezoning was approved, but restrictions on the new property would have cost him five hours of operation time.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials had said they were OK with the establishment operating just feet from the main gate, but asked that the business close at 9 p.m. His current operation is open until 2 a.m.

The council's consent agenda contains a contiguous annexation petition for the north side of U.S. 70 between Pizza Inn Lane and Norwood Avenue and a budget amendment for 2012-13 Community Development Block grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds.

The city will receive $338,910 in CDBG funds and $179,268 in HOME funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, meaning the funds must be appropriated into the 2012-13 budget.

Two site and landscape plans are suggested for approval by consent, with one for Berky Perkins to rent out a warehouse for furniture sales on North George Street.

The other asks for Griffin Exterminating Co. to repurpose the former Wanda's building on North William Street.

The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. is asking the council approve two business incentive grants for The Laughing Owl and Thistle Bee Quilt Shoppe, two businesses opening up on North Center Street.

The business incentive grants assist downtown businesses by giving them 12 monthly $400 payments for operational expenses beginning after the business has been in continuous operation for six months.

The DGDC Economic Restructuring Committee recommended the two businesses due to evaluation scores put into place by the program, but also recommended funding for two other businesses on Center Street if possible. Both Central Lunch and For the Birds requested the funding as well.

The consent agenda also contains a budget ordinance appropriating $100,000 to the Arts Council of Wayne County since it has fulfilled the initial requirements for the first third of grant money obtained through the N.C. Main Street Solutions Grant.

Another measure on the consent agenda asks to contract for five years with Pepsi for the selling of fountain beverages at the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course. Bids were received from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but the savings offered by Coke were negated by Pepsi's offer to give and service an additional cooler.

The work session at 5 p.m. at the City Hall Annex will feature presentations from Rebecca Craig on greenways in Wayne County and concerning geographic information systems.

Council committees will also be discussed as will board and commission vacancies, while the Planning Department will offer an update on home demolitions and an animal ordinance that would allow for domestic fowl within the city limits.

The 7 p.m. meeting in Historic City Hall will feature a presentation by Peter Wene from the Wayne County Amateur Radio Association.