A zoning change that would clear the way for a barn-style wedding and event venue in Oviedo’s historic downtown got preliminary approval by the Oviedo City Council on Monday night.
The final hearing is scheduled for June 20, which members of Grant Chapel AME Church said they will attend to oppose the move.
At a Local Planning Agency board meeting last month, the church’s pastor, Rev. Phyllis Rose Brown, said they don’t want the property’s zoning to be changed from residential to office/commercial because they’re afraid it will negatively impact traffic at the 3-acre location near the corner of Oviedo Boulevard and Franklin Street.
Brown also said she thinks that what the developer is proposing does not jibe with the surrounding land.
“We will be ready to speak when you have the public hearing but we do oppose the wedding barn being built in that location because it will have an impact on the cultural aspects of the community,” Brown said. “It’s like building a plantation house and having the quarters somewhere else. It’s going to stand out and it’s not going to fit in.”
According to city staff, the office/commercial zoning is “consistent with the variety of uses that surround the subject property.”
Developer Bonnie Marini said the venue is much needed in a city where she said no such large event venues exist.
City staff is currently reviewing a site plan for the proposed more-than-5,000-square-foot facility that Marini said would accommodate up to 200 people and could be used for weddings or other large events. The venue would allow for a band stage and dance floor.
Councilwoman Natalie Teuchert recused herself during the discussion. She partly owns the land in question with her mother, Bonnie Marini, and brother, David Marini so voting on it would be a conflict of interest.
Marini said that they plan to keep the wetlands on the property intact and keep as much green space as possible.
She also addressed the traffic concerns that Brown mentioned during the LPA meeting, saying the property would have a large road and parking lot to keep venue guests off the street.
“So, we wouldn’t expect any of our guests to be on Franklin Street for more than a minute or so it takes to get from the roundabout to the entrance that the barn will be on,” she said.
Watch the full meeting: