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Gainesville City Council OKs go-kart track at bowling center
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Gainesville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an electric go-kart course addition to the Gainesville Bowling Center at 2317 Browns Bridge Road.

The course would be added as an outdoor commercial recreational center, which also includes laser tag and an arcade. It would sit on 2.4 acres southwest of the intersection of Ga. 369/Browns Bridge Road and Green Crest Drive.

The council’s vote affirmed an Oct. 8 unanimous recommendation by the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board to grant B&L Bowling Center a special-use permit for the track.

At that meeting, two people spoke against the go-kart track, complaining it would lead to more traffic and crime in the area.

Business owner Debbie Lunsford-Love said the entertainment center’s presence hadn’t caused vandalism in the neighborhood or the additional cars parked on Green Crest Drive.

Monday night, Councilman Curtis Segars said he did have concerns about age restrictions and the number of cars allowed on the track at one time.

“You have to do a minimum height ... because people don’t always give the straight-up on the age,” Lunsford-Love said.

She said eight cars would race on the track at a time while another eight would be charging up to run.

“This sounds like one of the safest go-kart tracks I’ve ever heard of,” Councilman George Wangemann said after the vote. “It’s electric, the speeds are not very high, and it looks like you’ve got this thing pretty well thought out. I commend you for that.”

The go-karts would occupy an unused portion of the front parking lot area. It’s expected to include a building for customers to access the recreational area, to store the go-karts and to provide additional lighting.

Gainesville planning staff recommended approval based on five conditions, including an electric track, limiting outside noise, planting evergreen buffer trees and limiting the operating hours compared with the hours of the bowling center.