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State law forcing county to redo vote on ordinance



Staff Writer


During its meeting tonight, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will revisit an ordinance, on which it previously split, requiring special events and mass gatherings to obtain permits.

At the board’s last regular meeting, commissioners voted 4-1 to approve an the ordinance, following discussion on whether already established events should be exempt from the new regulations. Commissioner Jim Klein cast the sole vote opposing the measure.

However, County Manager George Wood and Assistant County Manager Martha Lide have since advised commissioners in a memo that state statutes require a different procedure. “The county commission cannot adopt an ordinance at its first reading unless there is unanimous approval of the board,” they write.

As such, commissioners will take another look at the issue tonight.

The proposed ordinance revision will be presented again for first reading with changes removing exemption for certain already-established events and excluding events within Lincolnton city limits.

If the ordinance is approved, event permits would cost $10 and must be applied for at least 30 days prior to the event, unless otherwise approved by Wood.

Additionally, it would apply to public events expecting 300 or more people in attendance and involving fireworks, alcoholic beverages, live entertainment, overnight activities, vehicle racing, physical-contact sports or disruption of public right of ways.

School, government or church events would not be impacted.

Should commissioners unanimously approve the ordinance tonight, it will then be enacted. Otherwise, it may be brought back for a second reading at their next meeting, when it can be approved by a three-member majority of the board.

Other items on tonight’s agenda include:

Public Works Director Don Chamblee will present a report on Burton Creek erosion concerns.

The Planning Board will present its recommendations regarding zoning cases heard at the previous meeting.

Commissioners will hear a presentation on air quality nonattainment designations.

Lide will present a resolution amending the county’s fire prevention code, fees and penalties schedule.

A closed session will be conducted “to consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege,” according to the agenda for the meeting.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center and is open to the public.


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