Cullman divided over proposed entertainment district

Cullman divided over proposed entertainment district

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The lot for the proposed venue sits just of Highway 157. Source: WBRC video The lot for the proposed venue sits just of Highway 157. Source: WBRC video
CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) -

The Cullman community is weighing the positive and negative aspects of a proposed entertainment district.

The developer says the venue will be a big boost for the local economy. But residents who live nearby the site are concerned about what could be a lot of noise and traffic.

The planning commission has already greenlighted the project and soon, city counil members will make their final decision.

The 10 acres of land off Highway 157 in Cullman could be the site of the proposed district. If approved it would become a music venue that also serves food and drinks.

"I'm against it 100 percent," Leon Bentley said.

He lives right across the street from the proposed site. He's lived there for 30 years and is concerned with how close it is to private homes.

Chris van Dyke, executive director of the Cullman Area Mental Health Authority, is also concerned. His facility will also be in close proximity to the development.

"We don't want to see our clients from mental health walking across the street after their appointment," he said.

Bethany Seidel, the developer, says she understands citizens concerns but adds that what they're envisioning isn't what she's planning. She says the venue would be built on the north end of the lot, which is closer to Highway 157 than residences. As for the mental health center, she says the venue won't be open during the clinic's business hours.

"I have children here," she said. "I'm very committed to this community and bringing in something that is tasteful and thoughtful. Entertainment is something that is very much needed."

The city council will hold a public meeting before any decision is made. The date for that meeting hasn't been set yet.

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