A new McDonald’s restaurant can be built in Boger City following unanimous approval from the Lincolnton City Council Thursday night of the company’s request for a conditional-use rezoning of property on East Main Street.
The fast-food chain plans to construct a 4,500-square-foot restaurant, with 57 parking spaces, near the southwest corner of East Main Street and Salem Church Road.
During the public hearing on the request, nearby resident Christine Ziemba-Tolbert spoke against the rezoning, expressing her concern for the traffic flow that may result from the new McDonald’s. She described the neighborhood as quiet and having a “country feel,” and she said she’s worried that drivers cutting through the residential streets to get to the restaurant will disrupt this.
She also said she was concerned about the safety of the residents, noting that, with no sidewalks, people, including children, often walk in the street.
“It’s just a matter of time before something drastic happens,” she told council members.
Despite discussion of the various means for controlling the potential traffic flow in the area, most of the options were rejected due to talks with the NCDOT. However, as a result of the planning staff’s recommendations, approved by the council as part of the motion, a concrete island will be placed at the access point onto Openview Drive to help prevent existing traffic from turning left onto Openview Drive.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, council members approved in a 3-1 vote, with council member Devin Rhyne in opposition, to grant a conditional-use permit for a proposed Internet sweepstakes operation in the Town and Country Shopping Center at 634 Center Drive. The city’s Planning Board had previously recommended that the request be denied, citing a saturation of such centers in Lincolnton.
However, City Attorney T.J. Wilson advised the council that it could open itself up to liability should it treat the businesses differently than others. The North Carolina Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of a ban on such centers.
Nonetheless, the council asked City Manager Jeff Emory to look into options for regulating Internet sweepstakes operations. As the Times-News has previously reported, the county’s Board of Commissioners recently approved standards that the centers much meet to operate.
In other City Council action: