WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

County adds zoning category for sweepstakes centers

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Wilson County commissioners unanimously approved amendments to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance to include gaming centers in an effort to better define and regulate the businesses.

A public hearing was held on the matter Monday during commissioners’ regular meeting. No one from the public spoke. Commissioners took action after the county’s planning division requested the change. The UDO previously only had two categories — internet/cyber cafes and amusement arcades.

Commissioner put a temporary hold on issuing permits for gaming centers last month so that planning officials could tweak changes. The moratorium has now been lifted.

Part of the new amended text in the UDO for gaming centers includes:

• Gaming centers will be required to have special use permit

• Game center establishments will need to be located 2,000 feed from the property lines of any school, child or day care, church or residential use

• Developer would be required to submit a “to scale” drawing depicting the interior layout of the proposed establishment

• A game center wouldn’t be allowed to be located within a half-mile radius of an existing game center

• One-plus parking space per monitor/terminal is required

Internet/cyber cafe definitions in the UDO were implemented in 2010, while the amusement arcade definitions were put into place in the late 1990s.

The amendment now reflects an additional defining category for gaming centers.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

• A public hearing will be held on March 5 in regards to economic incentive package for Linamar Forgings Carolina. The manufacturer is planning a $6.8 million expansion that will create 31 jobs. Officials will be adding two new products — hollow transmission shafts and net shape differential gears — to the German-based company’s local factory in Wilson.

• Commissioners awarded a nonemergency ambulance franchise to North State Medical Transport in addition to Medex Medical Transport, which is currently operating here. Both companies are routinely used for transportation including to and from doctor visits, hospital discharges to homes and hospital transfers to other facilities.

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