GAINESVILLE – Nearly 66-acres along Mount Vernon Road in northern Hall County received Special Use approval from the Hall Count Commission Thursday evening to begin operating as an agri-entertainment venue.
The site, commonly known as the Bennett Farm and Barn, will soon serve as host to a wide variety of events according to Chris Riley of Gainesville. Riley presented the Special Use request to county officials on behalf of property owners Margaret and Richard Bennett.
“In north Hall we do need a facility…to help with school events, church events, non-profits, and I might say, political gatherings, when needed from time to time,” Riley told commissioners.
Karen Baston lives across Mount Vernon Road from the site and agreed heartily with Riley.
“I would much rather see an agri-business such as this that is going to be to the rear…than another subdivision…which we don’t really want out there,” Baston said. “I would much rather see this than some sort of farm with animals that could create a smell.”
Baston personalized her support of the application by saying she knew Margaret Bennett well. “I have worked with Maggie on numerous boards and anything that the Bennetts do is top notch,” she said.
The Bennetts are considering the construction of an event center on the rear of the property, possibly as large as 6,000-square feet, with parking for 220 vehicles.
In the application submitted to the Hall County Planning and Development Department by the Bennetts earlier this year, Margaret Bennett stated: “My husband and I have a son with Down’s syndrome and it is our dream for him to work after high school (graduating on May 14th) at this business.”
No one stepped forward to speak in opposition to the application Thursday evening; the request was approved unanimously by commissioners.