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.


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