Kinston City Council approves social district ordinance

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -Another Eastern Carolina city is set to become the next local municipality to add a social district to its downtown area.

Kinston residents, are you ready to be able to walk in a permitted area of downtown while enjoying an adult beverage? If so, then you don’t have to wait much longer to do so.

“It’s wonderful to get to this point and to have a council that’s backing this. We look at more than just a place where you can drink alcohol, but make it an actual destination for our downtown area,” said Kinston Planning Director, Elizabeth Blount.

City council has considered adding a social district in the downtown Kinston area for quite some time but took the next step with a unanimous vote for an ordinance at their meeting Tuesday night.

Blount says they’re planning for the proposed social district to be in place Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

“It would be maybe a six-block area,” Blount said. “It’ll be bordered on Queen Street, on Gordon, Mitchell, and Peyton Ave. It’s already a thriving area.”

Within the council’s vote, they asked that the start date for the social district be July 3rd so that the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration can be the kickoff event for people.

Blount says seeing surrounding cities like Greenville and Washington implement a social district, motivated them to add their own.

“We felt like if this was some idea that some of the municipalities are really thriving with having that increased traffic and a place people can enjoy themselves then Kinston can have that as well,” Blount said.

Blount says the city still has to submit the proposed social district ordinance to the ABC commission for official approval.

Blount also says official days and hours for the social district will be posted for the public once they’re finalized.