• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Nibley planners say yes to dancing at the strip mall

December 9th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Max Parker Dahl

NIBLEY–Plans for a public dance hall were approved at the city Planning and Zoning meeting Wednesday. The recommendation to include a dance hall in a portion of the empty strip mall along U.S. 89-91 will be made to Nibley City Council at its Dec. 16 meeting.

Current plans are for a 4,400 square foot area with a 600-700 square foot raised platform for dancing. The location will serve mainly as a billiards hall, but as business dictates, architect Allen Cornia intimated that a future kitchen would be worked into the design.

“The dance hall would be a very small portion of the overall business,” he said. Professional instruction in popular, classical and ballroom dancing would be offered to the public during the day.

There are no businesses operating within the complex of nearly 50 building spaces after the demise of Golf 365 in recent months. Property manager Tiffiny Burton noted that negotiations are underway with three potentially interested parties.

Concerns arose before the commission over the definition of “public dance hall” and the implicit connotations that it carries.

“It comes down to semantics,” said Aaron Bliesner. “It is easier to pass a ‘dance hall’ than a ‘tavern’ or ‘nightclub’ or a ‘bar’. That being said, I think we should expand our current definition of what is acceptable to include all of those things.”

The area is zoned commercial along U.S. 89-91 and Bill’s gas station on the corner of 3200 South and Highway 165. Approved usages include specifically billiards hall and bowling alley, but do not list a dance hall.

“I’m worried about Bill’s,” said Bill Green of the commission. “What would keep someone from building a ‘dance hall’ or even a strip club close to our schools?”

Wayne Anderson submitted that the definition for commercial and industrial land use should be a “living document.”

“It boils down to our definition of a dance hall,” member Marina Heidt said, “I personally think it’s a great idea, and I’d like to see it come in. Determining future developments would come down to business licensing and approval or denial on an individual basis.”

Anderson moved to approve the amendment for the dance hall as proposed, and the commission voted 4-1 in favor with Green casting a dissenting vote.

“I see nothing special with this preliminary layout, except there is a dance floor,” said Anderson. “I’m OK if they go back and call it a billiards hall.”

Cornia is an architect who has worked primarily with multi-family and commercial developments in California.

“I’m concerned with the council referring to the dance hall as a bar,” he said in a phone interview Thursday. “Most people envision a bar as a real dive, but that is far from what I plan to put in. People don’t want to approve another dive. Even though the commission voted to approve it last night, it could still be denied by the city council.”


Tags: , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.