The Medina Town Board is looking to hold a special meeting later this month after tabling a rezoning request at its regular Sept. 8 board meeting. Steve and Michelle Nampel, owners of the Barrel Inn, are looking to rezone property at 1511 Berlin Road to allow an existing barn to be used as an event venue. The parcel is currently zoned rural residential and would need to be rezoned to general commercial.
The recommendation to rezone came from the planning commission’s Aug. 31 meeting. According to board member Philip Braithwaite, who also serves on the planning commission, as part of the rezone recommendation the property would be deed restricted exclusively to a business using the existing barn to be used as an event venue and adhere to the site plan and operations outlined in the business plan. This plan includes allowing up to 12 events per year in addition to noise volume, parking, visual barriers, and hours of operation.
Non-deed restricted conditions include having the barn brought up to code and the business would need to submit to the town clerk a list of events occurring at the venue.
During the regular board meeting, several people spoke against the proposed event venue. Among the concerns was speeding, garbage that people going to or from the venue may toss out of their vehicles, drunk driving, poor road conditions, and a lack of nearby lodging.
“I’m just very concerned,” one woman said. “The Barrel Inn is already there and in my honest opinion, Deansville isn’t big enough to have two event centers. There are event centers in Marshall… I just don’t think Deansville needs to have two event centers.”
For an adjacent property owner, two of the larger concerns were the noise level and sightlines. The man said the sound testing that was conducted, which noted a level of 20-decibels during the assessment, but the plan only has one sentence indicating the testing was completed.
“For me personally, there’s nothing in there that tells me how the sound test was done – was it high bass or high treble,” the neighbor said.
He added that due to where his home was built, the windows look directly at the barn. The proposed trees that would provide some screening would take several years of growth before being tall enough to block the view.
There was some support of the Nampel’s plan to convert a barn into an event venue. One man noted he lives on one of the highest parts of the town and “hears everything” but did not think 12 events per year was unreasonable.
Michelle Nampel told those in attendance that it was possible not every event hosted at the space would be held at night or have alcohol present.
Town Chairman Todd Weinberger said some of the concerns brought forward, such as speeding, littering and intoxicated driving, were elements the Nampels could not control.
As for the sound and sightlines, Weinberger asked if the Nampels would be willing to install berms with landscaping and possibly some fencing to diminish any noise and reduce the visibility of the event venue. Michelle Nampel said she would be willing to explore that suggestion.
The Nampels said they would meet with site planners to learn if berms could be installed and how much it would cost. The couple would then bring a modified plan before the town board.
The tentative date for the special meeting is Sept. 21.
Other board action:
• Approved rezoning the property at 529 Waterloo Road and assigning each of the several parcels attached to that address individual addresses.