Some Jenks residents are fighting a proposed rustic event center that would be built near their neighborhood. They fear it could become a "party barn," and drivers could pose a danger close to their homes.
"It seems like a great facility, but it's the wrong location," said concerned neighbor Amy VanBrunt. She lives in one of three neighborhoods that branches off 116th Street. The proposed event center would be built on a man's 44 acre ranch near the end of that road. VanBrunt said the road winds considerably, and she is concerned about the alcohol sales the event center would bring into the area.
"To add hundreds more cars that are unfamiliar with the area, I think, is incompatible with how this area was originally developed and planned," she said.
The facility is going before the Jenks City Council, because the land is zoned for agricultural use. Three city councilors recently voted in favor of the plan. Three others voted against it. The council tabled the issue temporarily.
Dr. Michael Spain owns the land for the project. He told Channel 8 he already hosts charity fundraisers on the property. He said the event center's barn would not be a disruption. He self-imposed some restrictions on the facility. For example, there is a 300 person maximum. He is also limiting the times alcohol can be sold.
City councilor Mike Sharp voted in favor of the plan. He told Channel 8, "I live within 500 feet of the entrance to the project. I've lived there 22 years, have driven that road two to three times a day, and I don't think it will be an issue." He said the planning commission approved the project.
VanBrunt said there are about 320 families in the area around the proposed facility. She said neighbors support expanding business in Jenks, but they wish this venue would go elsewhere.
Jenks Mayor Lonnie Sims said he originally voted against the project to have time to examine the restrictions. He expects that the council will likely approve the project.
The city council will vote again Monday, February 3rd.
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