There’s officially no chance Jacqueline and Nathaniel Phillips’ haunted hayride will take place in 2017.
For the second straight month, the couple’s CUP request did not garner approval at the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Oct. 17 meeting. Instead, the board opted to send the request to its review committee for further investigation.
By sending the request for review, the earliest this permit can be voted on is at the November meeting. That means that the Phillips’ plans to host the October event can only start in 2018.
The CUP request was for a special event, occasional, in the community development zoning district. The property is located at Wild Plum Valley Road and Highway N.
The request was initially made in September, but tabled for a month because of an application error. The area where the Phillips planned on parking wasn’t included in the application.
That issue was addressed prior to the meeting, but parking was still an issue. Neighbors around the property said an event last year at the site drew a large crowd that parked along the highway.
Several neighbors wanted assurances the parking provided would be sufficient.
Jacqueline Phillips said there would be room for about 700 cars, but she didn’t imagine needing anywhere near the many with the number of visitors expected. The parking included both a gravel and overflow grass lot.
The previous highway parking was at a party thrown by her son without his parents’ permission, she said. Under her watch, she said parking would not be allowed on the highway.
There also was a lengthy discussion about restroom facilities. Phillips said the site would have plenty of facilities, but the commission debated on a number.
Nailing down a number proved to be an issue because the amount of port a potties is not governed by anyone. Phillips said the county’s health department told her it was her job to make sure there were enough.
Phillips assured the board she was going to have enough.
“It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have,” she said.
Phillips also said there would be security guards on the site.
Questions also were raised about alcohol, the entrance onto the highway and the hours. Phillips suggested the event would run on Fridays and Saturdays in October from noon to midnight and on Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.
A neighbor, Kevin Brock, said there is nothing to do in the area and wondered what the people would do leaving that late at night. He said the people leaving that late and possibly drinking could equal trouble.
Phillips agreed to shorten the hours and attempted to answer the other issues, but it wasn’t enough to get the permit.
Highway Administrator Ron Williams said since October was more than half over and her plans for opening in 2017 were already squelched, the commission should take its time.
Williams said it would be best to handle the issue slowly and spend more time looking at it in the review committee. The board unanimously agreed.
After the review committee meets, the permit request should be on the agenda for the Nov. 21 meeting.