Several neighbors turned out Jan. 30 at the Unified Government Commission meeting to oppose an events center proposed for the South 34th Street area.
The neighbors had filed a valid protest petition against the proposed event center at 2951 S. 34th. Because of the petition, the Unified Government Commission would have had to have 9 votes in favor of it to pass.
The commission sent the issue back to the Planning Commission after a public hearing in which neighbors said they opposed the events center because of concerns about noise and traffic.
Plans were to use a barn to hold wedding receptions and other events, according to those backing the project. There also are plans to build another wood-finished barn that would be used for events. According to attorney Bill Hutton, a representative for the property owners, the private event center would have events for up to 200 people, including receptions, birthday parties, and corporate events. It is on a 10-acre site that is currently zoned for agricultural use. The neighbors’ property is zoned for residential use.
The Planning Commission had approved the project earlier on a 6-4 vote. If it comes back before the UG Commission again after going back to the Planning Commission, it would still need 9 votes because of the protest petition, UG officials said.
Currently, the site is used for tree storage and landscaping materials, and a horse barn has been there since 1966, according to Hutton.
UG officials noted that more people showed up against this event center than usually oppose similar projects. About nine persons spoke against the event center at the public hearing Jan. 30.
Neighbors said there were residential homes near the event center site. One neighbor said a ministry center involving 60 to 80 children a week also is near the proposed site.
Another neighbor who has three children did not like the idea of noise and traffic, and also said he was concerned about the serving of alcohol and the bad decisions that often accompany alcohol consumption.
Steve Latham, a resident of 34th Street, said even though they liked the business proposed in general, they didn’t like it in that location as they did not like the alcohol and the traffic in the neighborhood.
“We are investing in the children of this neighborhood,” Latham said. “That’s our main concern, to do all we can to protect our children and give them a good place to grow up.”