Pembroke takes steps to allow private club

By: Tomeka Sinclair - Staff writer

PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Town Council on Monday took two steps towards allowing the opening of a private club in Pembroke, but only after asking a lot of questions.

The council approved a request to rezone 703 and 705 W. Third St. from a Central Business District to a Highway Business District and a request to amend the Unified Development Ordinance to allow for the opening of a membership club. The club will be at the 705 W. Third St., directly across from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

The club will only allow members after a screening process, according to the applicant, Erick Locklear.

Throughout the meeting, council members tossed out questions and concerns about the safety and parking for the facility. Councilman Larry McNeill was not on board.

“How will you prevent walk-ins?” McNeil said.

The club will have a biometric system, which will only allow members entrance through fingerprint recognition, Locklear said.

Locklear also addressed concerns about adequate parking, saying there are 25 parking spaces and the building’s capacity is 45.

“If there’s two people per vehicle, that would solve the problem,” he said.

In other action, the council approved the site designs to rebuild the Hardee’s that was destroyed by a Jan. 5 fire.

“It’s a beautiful design plan,” Mayor Greg Cummings said.

The plan includes the same “footprint” as the previous location, with the addition of a back entrance and exit from Fourth Street for safety reasons. The former building had one entryand exit point in the front, which led to Third Street, one of the busier roadways in town.

“If you’re coming out making a left, it’s dangerous when there’s heavy traffic,” Wanda Jacobs, the district manager said.

The next step is for the town to view the entire site plan.

In other business, council members:

— Scheduled a public hearing for June 25 on a proposed $6.2 million budget that would take effect July 1.

Town Manager Tyler Thomas’ plan keeps the tax rate at 64 cents for every $100 of property, maintains water and sewer rates, gives employees a 2 percent cost-of-living increase, includes no new positions, and provides for three new police cars and some work on a soccer field at the town’s recreation complex.

— Tabled a change to an ordinance that prohibits temporary vendors from setting up at Milton R. Hunt Memorial Park unless they have a permit. The change would allow set-up a week before, during and a week after Lumbee Homecoming; and on certain holidays, such as Easter, Christmas and Valentines Day.

— Heard a presentation from Parks and Recreation Director Phil Harper about activities that will be offered throughout the summer.

Tomeka Sinclair

Staff writer

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at 910-416-5865 or at [email protected]

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at 910-416-5865 or at [email protected]