The Rockingham City Council is being asked to rezone property on Old River Road from high use residential to business.
The City Council will hold a pubic hearing on the request when it meets Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Council meets at Rockingham City Hall, 514 Rockingham Road.
The request is to rezone about 6 acres at 106 Old River Road from High Density Residential (R-7) to Highway Business (B-3). City staff said the applicant, VFW Post 4203, had plans to place sweepstakes gaming machines in the VFW Post building, and even in light of a recent court ruling declaring the machines illegal, the applicant still wants to proceed with the rezoning request.
In December, the State Supreme Court upheld a 2010 statute that outlaws the video sweepstakes gaming businesses. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, Rockingham Police Department and Hamlet Police Department have worked early this year to notify sweepstakes businesses of the court ruling. Officials believe all but one sweepstakes business in the county have closed.
The city’s planning and zoning staff, in a report on the rezoning request, noted the use of the property as a VFW post is allowed as a conditional use in the R-7 zone and as a permitted use in the B-3 zone; so the rezoning of the property would not create any nonconformity in terms of the primary use.
Three single-family residences are located along Old River Road across from the subject property, which are the properties to be most likely impacted by the request, the staff report said.
Staff recommended granting the rezoning. The city’s Planning Board met on Jan. 7 and unanimously recommended that the council rezone the property as requested.
Other agenda items include:
• Appointing someone to the vacant City Council seat, left open when former councilman Steve Morris was appointed mayor at January’s council meeting. Morris got the top job after former mayor Gene McLaurin won a seat in the NC Senate.
• A public hearing on an ordinance to adopt the Pee Dee Lumber Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
• A public hearing to receive input for a Community Development Block Grant application for funding under the CDBG Infrastructure for the East Rockingham Sewer Project. These funds will be used to provide public sewer to portions of Marigold, Flowers and Mills streets and can also connect low and moderate income residences to the public sewer.
• Presentation of Rockingham Fire Department’s 2012 Annual Report by Fire Chief Charles Gardner.
• Consider a request to schedule a public hearing on a request to rezone 1.43 acres located at 106 Yates Hill Road and 195 W. U.S. Highway 74 Business from Light Industrial (I-1) to Highway Business (B-3). The subject property consists of two tracts located on the northwest corner of Yates Hill Road and West U.S. Hwy 74 Business. The applicant is Jimmy Capps. The current use on the corner lot is a convenience store, which is a permitted use in either the I-1 or B-3 zones. The adjacent lot (195 U.S. Hwy 74 Business) was previously used as an automotive repair shop. City staff said the applicant recently purchased the property at 195 U.S. Hwy 74 Business and is considering several different types of retail sales uses.
— Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.