HAMLET — City Council members will put on their metaphorical Board of Adjustment hats Tuesday night to consider rezoning a Vance Street tract for use as a potential Seaboard Festival event venue.
Council member David Lindsey and his wife, Kim, own the 1.5 acres at Vance and Champlain streets, across from the Veterans Administration building. Now zoned for business use, the $40,000 plot must be rezoned to accommodate anything other than a shop or office.
Kim Lindsey is Seaboard Festival president. Together, she and her husband wish to donate the land to the festival — but only after the rezoning hurdle has been cleared.
“If this (rezoning) is approved Tuesday night,” Kim Lindsey said Wednesday, “we will begin the process of converting” insurance and other legal documents from private to Seaboard use. “On paper, you will see things happening on Wednesday,” if the couple can begin the donation process.
Kim Lindsey said the couple paid the $150 rezoning application fee before donating the land so the issue would be resolved and the Seaboard would not be stuck with a parcel it couldn’t use for its events each October.
The Lindseys, the city and the Seaboard have been entangled recently in a verbal tussle over ethics, land and festival plans.
Last week, council member Jesse McQueen wondered aloud whether David Lindsey had committed an ethics violation in connection with two grant applications — one for the town and one for Seaboard.
To avert potential problems with rezoning, Kim Lindsey said, “David will recuse himself” from the vote “and, for the sake of appearances, will probably get up from the dais and come sit with me.”
That will leave four council members to decide the issue. In the event of a tie, Mayor Bill Bayliss will vote.
Last August, the Seaboard Festival broached the idea of building a stage on land across from City Hall and then deeding it to the city. Within days, the festival board had reconsidered its offer, finding the Lindseys’ offer of a bigger, grassy parcel more alluring.
Kim Lindsey said a gift to the city still remained possible but was too far in the future to discuss.
Hamlet City Council, sitting as the Board of Adjustment, will hold its public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, in City Council chambers, Hamlet City Hall, 201 Main St.
Members of the public may voice their opinions on the Lindseys’ request that the land be zoned as an event venue. Those directly involved in the issue will present information and face questioning.
Those with questions may contact city zoning coordinator Gail Strickland at 910-582-2651.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.