DICKINSON — A Dickinson woman said she hopes to build a romantic wedding venue along Dickinson Bayou if her specific-use permit is approved by City Council. But some neighbors worry the event center would turn into a “party barn.”
Property owner Marsha Millstid made the application for the specific-use permit for her property at 2839 Hughes Road. She said she hopes to build a barn-style structure in the middle of her heavily wooded 7-acre property. Millstid estimates 99 percent of her business will be for weddings.
“It will not be a party house,” she said.
Millstid said she knows the property is in a residential area and plans to be respectful of her neighbors.
“My goal is to not only be successful and have a top-notch venue that people are going to come to from miles around but to be a good neighbor,” she said.
The Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission will host a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. today before making a recommendation on a specific-use permit. The Dickinson City Council will vote on the permit Feb. 25.
Some residents along the Dickinson Bayou are worried an events center would mean more traffic and noise and would upset the tranquil residential area.
Bill Schick lives near the proposed event center and said he is worried that instead of a quiet, wooded lot, he could soon be living next to a “party barn” that would host anything from weddings to family reunions or motorcycle club rallies.
“We are trying to preserve our residential, quiet life on the bayou,” Schick said.
Roger Sawyer said he lives across Dickinson Bayou from where the proposed event center and is worried about what the event center would mean for the bayou.
“We just don’t think it’s the correct location,” he said.
He said he’s worried that the permit would allow the owner to build a wide range of businesses, including a waterfront bar, on the property.
“Dickinson Bayou is really a family bayou,” Sawyer said. “You got water skiing. You got fishing. Every day, you got people out in canoes.”
But there are guidelines an event center in a residential area would have to follow, city administrators said.
According to city ordinance, a special event center is a private facility available for lease that’s primary purpose is to host “conferences, meetings, receptions, reunions, weddings or any other gathering (formal or informal) that is temporary in nature,” Kevin Byal, Dickinson’s chief building official, said in an email.
The facility would not be able to host overnight events, he said.
Millstid said she is trying to be respectful of the residents around her. She said she plans to add insulation to the building to reduce noise, and all events and receptions would be held inside the building.
Millstid said she was hoping to create a unique space for weddings, and the event center would not be a bar or have a dock for boat traffic.
“My concern is to make sure the neighbors are not bothered by this,” Millstid said. “I don’t want invest half-a-million dollars to have a complaint every time there is an event.”
At a glance
WHAT: Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today
WHERE: City Council Chambers at City Hall, 4403 state Highway 3, in Dickinson