Pembroke sets 3 public hearings

PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Town Council set plans on Monday to receive public input during its June meeting regarding signage, zoning near The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a town ordinance.

The council voted to hold a hearing regarding a proposed electronic billboard that would sit across N.C. 711 from the Lumbee Tribal Complex, commonly known as The Turtle.

Zoning ordinances prohibit permanent billboards but the applicant, Hunter’s Run Joint Ventures of Raleigh, contends the digital signage would be good for local business.

A second public hearing will be held on rezoning property close to UNCP. The property currently is zoned for residential use but the town is “trying to get ahead of future zoning requests,” Town Manger Tyler Thomas said. Most of the land is owned by the university and would be rezoned for office or institutional use.

Thomas said the site could border an athletics complex the university has expressed an interest in building.

The third public hearing will be on the town’s unified development ordinance and whether or not to incorporate current watershed protection regulations into it.

In other business, the council:

— Approved joining the Robeson County multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan. The North Carolina Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency require municipalities be part of such regional groups in order to plan responses to natural disasters.

— Updated a 1997 policy on police body armor. The town will now pay for the armor and require officers wear the vests when they are on duty or doing security work.

— Updated vacation and holiday leave standards for employees. This includes capping the maximum amount of annually accumulated holiday leave for shift workers.

— Were advised by Town Attorney Gary Locklear state that at this year’s Lumbee Homecoming only golf carts will be permitted to be used around the festival area. All-terrain vehicles will not be permitted, Locklear said. The event is from , June 23 through July 8.

— Voted to release a resident from a $334.66 tax penalty because it was s a clerical error.

— Proclaimed May to be Older Americans Awareness Month and urged residents to “take time during this month to acknowledge older adults and the people who serve them as influential and vital parts of our community.”

Tyler Thomas Thomas

By Mike Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly