Ordinance advances sale of Special Events Center

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

A path has been cleared for the sale of the Rescue Hose Co. Special Events Center by an amendment to the borough code approved Monday night by Greencastle Borough Council.

The ordinance does not apply only to the Rescue Hose Co. property, but is the resolution to an issue that arose with the proposed sale of the property at 407 S. Washington St. last year to Denise and Paul Hutchison of Blue Heron Events and From Scratch Catering.

It was discovered that the events center is not a permitted use at its location in a general residential R2 zone. Documentation to indicate why it was allowed to be built there in 1982 could not be found.

Ed Wine, the attorney who represents the Hutchisons, endorsed the amendment, called it a unique situation and said "we're not sure what happened 35 years ago."

The ordinance, reviewed several times by borough council and the Greencastle Planning Commission, as well as the Franklin County Planning Commission, will allow a "multi-purpose venue - events center" in an R2 zone as a conditional use. That means a conditional use hearing would have to be held before one is approved and conditions could be placed on the property, such as lighting restrictions and screening requirements.

Two main stipulations of the ordinance are that the property must be at least two acres and if the sale of alcohol is proposed, the applicant must go through a second conditional use hearing.

Tim Myers, Rescue Hose Co. trustee, said the fire company will file for a conditional use permit. He expects the process will take two or three months and lead to finalizing the sale.