Six years after county commissioners rejected a proposed soccer field on a tract of land in a residential area, county leaders this month rejected a proposed outdoor paintball field on the same site.
Edgar Gonzalez lives at 525 Eatmon Road, a dead end road off Covered Bridge Road near Highway 96 North in the Corinth Holders Community. Gonzalez petitioned Johnston County Commissioners to rezone 5.75 acres out of a 34 acre tract owned by Jose Gonzalez from Agricultural Residential (AR) to Community Business – Special Use District (CB – SUD).
Edgar Gonzalez told Commissioners the closest paintball facilities are in Angier and Durham. He believes an outdoor paintball business would be successful. He said he planned to operate it from 10AM until 5PM on Saturday’s and Sunday’s only. When asked, Mr. Gonzalez was unable to provide a projection on the number of people he expected to be at the field while in operation.
The proposed business would include a parking lot, fencing, and an office. The paintball field would have forts with netting, and various obstacles including pallets and junked cars.
Several neighbors spoke in opposition of the rezoning including Kevin Tharrington who said that Eatmon Road is a nice, peaceful neighborhood. He feared the paintball field would be a safety issue and was concerned about people trespassing on his property.
Donnie Wayne Temple said children frequently play in their yards and ride their bikes on Eatmon Road. He said retired couples often walk up and down the roadway because of limited traffic. Temple said an influx of people would create traffic issues on the dead end road. He also expressed concern about the impact chemicals from paintballs would have on the soil, a nearby creek, and wetlands.
Phillip White said in addition to noise and traffic the rezoning would “change the fabric of our little community.”
“This is not a compatible use for what’s out there at this point,” said County Commissioner Butch Lawter. Commissioner Jeff Carver agreed saying he was concerned about access with only one-way in and one-way out, and how emergency crews could respond in the event of an accident.
In a 7-to-0 vote, commissioners requested the rezoning applicant.
Six years earlier commissioners rejected a request to allow a soccer field on the same tract of land, with nearby residents expressing many of the same concerns about noise and traffic.