Festival in honor of Trinity crash victim a go
A technical fix to Trinity’s zoning ordinance should make this weekend a lot more enjoyable for Dawn Macaluso and her family.
Text amendments approved by the City Council on Tuesday will allow the family to hold the Nickey Jacobs Memorial Festival on Saturday without having to obtain a $300 special use permit from the city.
Jacobs, 37, a father of five from Trinity, was killed in a traffic crash in High Point earlier this year.
His sister, Macaluso, his wife, Danielle Jacobs, and other family members had been planning the festival for weeks but ran into difficulties when Trinity officials initially told them they would have to go through a lengthy process to obtain a permit.
It turns out the city already had provisions on its books to allow “public events” like the one planned to take place as a “permitted use” that wouldn’t require special approval or a fee.
After an exhaustive research effort by city staff, the council clarified ordinance definitions and permitting requirements in a way that means there is far less red tape for the family to navigate in order to put on Saturday’s event.
“Everything is fine now. They have issued us all the paperwork this morning. We are good to go,” Macaluso said Wednesday. “We feel like permission from the property owner was all we needed, and we had that from the beginning.”
The festival will take place beside Smokey T’s restaurant at 4873 N.C. 62, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jacobs’ family is trying to establish scholarships for local high school students in his name, and the hope is that the festival will raise money for the effort. Macaluso said the day is being planned to include food vendors, a silent auction, children’s games and a cornhole tournament.
Family members approached the city about a month ago and found out they would have to go through the Planning & Zoning Board and City Council to obtain a special use permit.
They learned that there was not enough time to go through the permitting process in advance of the event Saturday. That was disheartening for family members, who wanted to honor Jacobs in Trinity, where he was a well-known youth sports coach.
Macaluso said the family was prepared to hold the festival without a special use permit, even at the risk of being cited for city ordinance violations.
“We felt that was adding undue stress for our family on top of what we were already dealing with,” said Danielle Jacobs. “We want our event to help the kids (Nickey Jacobs) helped for 20 years by coaching and doing everything else he did. We thought that the fee and special use permit shouldn’t apply for a small, community fun day like we’re planning.”
The family credited Trinity Planning Director Julie Maybee with finding a solution by uncovering existing rules that require only a temporary zoning permit for concerts, religious or civic events like Saturday’s festival.
The council approved the provision two years ago but hadn’t taken action to apply it to all city zoning districts until Tuesday.
“Our whole family just really appreciates the council coming together and (Maybee) and the staff resolving this,” said Macaluso.
Jacobs was killed on Feb. 20, his birthday, when a 1998 Saturn driven by Delonia Juwanna Slaton crossed the center line of English Road and struck the 2003 Chevrolet Tracker he was driving in the opposite direction, according to High Point police.
Slaton, 28, of High Point, remains jailed on charges of second-degree murder, felony hit-and-run and driving while impaired.