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After hearing from several past employees and patrons who supported the application, the York County Board of Supervisors is allowing Play A Round Golf & Games to move into a spot on Route 17.
Owned by Wesley Cowan, the business, which operated for more than 40 years in Newport News, will bring a 36-hole miniature golf course, a go-kart track and a video arcade next to Ken Matthew Garden Center on Route 17.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously — with Supervisor George Hrichak absent — to approve the special-use permit application, needed because of the county’s zoning ordinance.
“I have thought for a long time that we needed something like this down there,” Supervisor Don Wiggins said, adding it would be great for families, children and tourists. “I think it’s a great idea, it’s a great spot for it, I think it’ll really go well.”
The video arcade will sit in a 7,520 square-foot building and will have at least 40 games, a “state-of-the-art” laser tag arena, a small snack bar area and seating for about 20 people.
The outdoor amusement center will include 36 holes of miniature golf and 12 “environmentally friendly” electric go-karts that “create almost no noise, except a pleasant high-pitched whine like an F-1 racecar,” Cowen said.
The application first went through the Planning Commission, who voiced concerns over the amount of noise that could be produced by both the go-karts and the outdoor ambiance of people using the golf course.
At the Planning Commission meeting, one neighbor also raised concerns about trespassers cutting through his property to get to the business.
In response, Cowen agreed to build an 8-foot high fence around the back end of the property that connects to an existing fence along the back of Ken Matthews Garden Center, as well add more landscaping around the property.
Cowan has planned for the amusement center to be built in two phases. Phase one would consist of the golf course, the arcade building and parking. A go-kart track would be built in phase two within 12 to 18 months of phase one’s completion.
Cowan expects the first phase of the amusement center to be completed and open to the public six months after construction begins.