Residents living near a proposed event center on Highway 100 in Boles Township raised objections before the Franklin County planning board Tuesday night.
Ron Tate requested a conditional use permit that would allow him to host weddings, anniversary parties, corporate gatherings and other like events on about 28 acres two-tenths of a mile east of Highway OO.
Tate plans to build a two-story event center on the northeast corner of the property, which would be approximately 4,600 square feet.
Plans for the building include a great room on the lower level that would seat about 250 people and a “bride’s room” on the second floor with a balcony. The first floor would be an atrium overlooking the banquet center below.
Tate also plans to provide a grassy area for outdoor weddings that could seat 150.
The center would be open Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and on Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Residents in the nearby Meadow Forest subdivision and owners of adjacent farms spoke out against the event center at the public hearing for the CUP. They were mainly concerned with noise, traffic and the possibility of water/sewer run-off.
Jim Bowlin, who lives on Timberline Valley Drive in the nearby Meadow Forest subdivision, spoke on behalf of his neighbors, who claim the center would decrease their property values and not be harmonious to an area that is mostly rural.
Bryan Sharp, who lives on Highway OO, said he was concerned about traffic, especially coming from a place situated along a busy highway that will be serving alcohol.
He likened the event center to a tavern east of Tate’s property.
“I’ve seen numerous accidents in front of Stovall’s Grove,” he said.
Paul Boyer, an engineer with CEDC Civil Engineering who designed the Tate Event Center, said the event center is “beautifully designed” and will not have a “bar-like atmosphere.”
“This is a high-end venue,” he said. “It’s not going to be like a bar where people will show up in cutoffs.”
The planning board voted to send the CUP request to the review committee, which will make its recommendation at the next planning board meeting Nov. 19.