By Bonnie Culverhouse
Minden Planning Commission Thursday voted unanimously to deny the request for a zoning change by Haughton residents, wanting to place an event center on a parcel on Columbia Street and one on Talton.
The request to change from R-3 single family residential to B-1 neighborhood commercial would have allowed Herman R. Gooding Jr. and ToQuella Gooding, option holders on 2 acres belonging to William G. Fogle, to build an event center on Columbia.
“When we have events, there will never, ever be parking on the streets of Pershing and Columbia,” ToQuella Gooding said. “The way the building is going to be centered, there will be plenty of parking to cover at least 300.”
She also said security would be provided – either private or police – for all events.
The Goodings said they believe the event center will elevate the community.
“Private events, private birthday parties, including skate parties because we want to leave it concreted,” she said. “It will be a place in Minden for kids to go. It’s long needed, and I’ve been putting a lot of effort into this.”
The property is located in Council District A, and Wayne Edwards presented the commission with a petition circulated by one of his constituents.
“Shortly after receiving notice about the event center, I began receiving phone calls asking questions about it,” Edwards said. “I talked to some of these people to make sure their wishes are the ones being addressed.”
There were 14 names on the petition, but Edwards said of all the phone calls, he’d heard no positive responses for the center.
“Most of us in that area are elderly,” said resident Virginia Hendricks. “We don’t want the music that comes along with events in the neighborhood.”
When asked about alcohol, the Goodings admitted they would be applying for a liquor license for event-goers who wish to serve alcohol.
According to MPC Chairperson Sarah Haynes, between 40 and 50 letters were mailed to residents in the area, informing them of the possible change. Between the petition and word of mouth, almost half were on the record as opposed.
The parcel of land on Talton would be used for a beauty salon at some point in the future. They will be able to apply for that zoning change separately, if they wish.
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