WILMINGTON — A barn venue for special occasions is planned for Sprague Road between State Route 730 and Cowan Lake State Park.
Clinton County commissioners have approved a rezoning request from property owner Myron Hale on a 45.4 acre parcel, following recommendations for approval from both the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission and the Clinton County Rural Zoning Commission.
When Hale met with the county commissioners, he said he thinks the project would be a really nice addition to the county. It would bring out-of-town guests to Clinton County, he added, noting the proximity to Cowan Lake State Park as well.
Hale anticipates weddings will be the most frequent type of event to be held at the barn-themed venue.
The timing of construction will depend on the price of materials coming down, said Hale, who will keep an eye on the fluctuating costs which are “out of sight right now.”
Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB) Executive Director Susan Valentine-Scott said currently there are no barn venues in the county and she welcomes the project.
“That would be awesome,” said Valentine-Scott, commenting “that type of event venue would be a plus.”
In addition, the CCCVB executive director said the project in Vernon Township ties in with the county’s rich agri-tourism — a sector emphasized in the CCCVB’s strategic plan.
“It could also be used for events like ‘Dinner in the Fields’,” she remarked.
According to Vogue magazine, the popularity of barn weddings skyrocketed between 2008 and 2013.
The approved change in zoning is from Rural-Residential District (R-R) to Agriculture-Residential Transition District (A-3).
At the county commissioners public hearing, Clinton County Building & Zoning Assistant Manager Joshua Harmon said the two county boards which reviewed the project and recommended that the commissioners adopt the requested rezoning, had determined that the zoning change makes for a more restrictive use of the property.
“So, if the parcel were to be subdivided in the future, it would make the lots larger, make them more spacious consistent with the area around it,” Harmon said, pointing out the property owner would need to obtain a conditional-use permit for that.
“So it [the zone change] does not change the permitted uses allowable, but it does increase the number of conditional-use opportunities that are there. And those will have to go through the Board of Zoning Appeals prior to any construction or use,” said Harmon.
After commissioners voted in favor of the rezoning, Clinton County Commissioners President Brenda Woods congratulated Hale.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.