County P&Z board hears event center request

by Patty Cheffey

Casey and Keely Ragar’s request to rezone 12 acres from agriculture to C-1 commercial went smoothly through its first hearing in front of the Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission.

The pair were present at last week’s P & Z meeting to make their request on property located east of Palmyra off County Road 402.

No one was present to oppose the request, and the planning and zoning members asked relatively few questions.

In making their request, Casey Ragar said they want to create a venue where events like weddings, receptions or family reunions can be held.

“We want to create something that not only benefits us, but the community as well,” he said, noting caterers, flower shops and others could benefit. “And it would even help gas stations when we bring in outside visitors.”

A large building on the property will hold about 200 people, with room on the outside of an additional 150, Keely Ragar said. 

“It’s got a good atmosphere and wonderful views,” she said.  “So far, on Facebook, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

“We’re hoping to start with smaller events and see how it goes,” Casey Ragar added

When questioned about it, the pair noted there would be plenty of parking on the acreage so there should not be any parking on road.

The Ragars also noted there will be bathroom facilities, but not in or attached to the existing building.

“We want to keep things as natural as possible,” Casey Ragar said, noting the facility will also not be climate controlled.

One letter of support, from Wallace Head, was shared with the commission.

A second hearing on the matter will be held at the Aug. 27 planning and zoning meeting.