Noise Levels From Play A Round Golf & Games a Concern for York Planning Commissioners, Neighbors

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A rendering of the new Play A Round Golf & Games (Courtesy Wesley Cowan)
A rendering of the new Play A Round Golf & Games (Courtesy Wesley Cowan)

After hearing concerns from two neighbors, the York County Planning Commission recommended allowing a miniature golf course, go-kart track and video arcade to settle in Grafton.

An application to allow longtime Newport News-based Play A Round Golf & Games to move across the street from Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 17 was presented to the Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Owner Wesley Cowan said the noise coming from the amusement center’s 12 eletric go-karts, 36-hole miniature golf course and video arcade would be minimal.

The go-karts, which run on a concrete track, “create almost no noise, except a pleasant high-pitched whine like an F-1 racecar,” Cowan said, and the background music played on loudspeakers would be just that — background music, not intended to be excessively loud.

The go-kart track would border Route 17, while the 36-hole miniature golf course would sit adjacent to another industrial building.

A parking lot and shrubbery would separate the center from the home of Margaret Hopson Tynes, who has lived next to the property for 42 years.

“It would be in my backyard,” Tynes said at the Planning Commission’s public hearing. “I’m all for progress, but I would like to see a quieter business in that area.”

Play A Round Golf & Games owner Wesley Cowan told the York County Planning Commission about his business Wednesday. (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)
Play A Round Golf & Games owner Wesley Cowan told the York County Planning Commission about his business Wednesday. (Marie Albiges/WYDaily)

She asked for an 8-foot fence to be placed behind her house to reduce the noise.

Raymond Patrick, who lives behind Ken Matthews Garden Center next to the site of the proposed amusement center, echoed Tynes’ concerns about noise and said Play A Round would lead to many people cutting through his property.

The commission decided to amend the amusement center’s special-use permit application to include a requirement for an 8-foot fence near Tynes’ home and a fence that connects to the one already in place behind Ken Matthews Garden Center to stop people from cutting through Patrick’s property.

Commissioners voted unanimously — with Commissioner Glen Brazelton absent — to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the project.

“I think the best that we can do is to keep this as quiet as possible,” said Chairwoman Melissa McGowan, who had concerns about the amount of noise caused by people who would be playing at the center.

The application will be presented to the Board of Supervisors — who have final say on whether it is approved — at its meeting May 19.

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