Coweta Festivals alcohol request before Commission Tuesday

By Sarah Fay Campbell
A public hearing on the Coweta Festivals application for a special use permit for the festival grounds is on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting of the Coweta County Board of Commissioners.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held in the county commission chambers in the County Administration Building in downtown Newnan on Perry Street, upstairs.
Coweta Festivals has submitted the first application under Coweta's new special events ordinance. Under the ordinance, properties that receive a special use permit can have year-round events, and can serve and even sell alcohol through a licensed caterer. The ordinance includes multiple regulations on sound, parking, traffic, trash removal, hours of operation, and the like.
Coweta Festivals, which owns the Powers' Crossroads festival property in western Coweta, has applied for the special use permit designation on the 60 acres which are located in Coweta County. A portion of the festival grounds is in Heard County.
Coweta Festivals is seeking the special use permit to allow the expansive grounds to be used for events throughout the year.
Whether the annual Powers' Festival, held for 41 years on Labor Day weekend, will be held in 2012 remains to be seen.
"We are just waiting for the hearing on April 17 before we can actually move forward," said Holly Hammonds, Coweta Festivals executive director. "Hopefully we are having a festival, but we cannot do anything until the hearing."

Heard County officials have raised some objections to the special use permit.

During the Coweta planning department's review of zoning requests, affected departments are contacted for comments and concerns. Heard County was also contacted.

In the zoning report, Heard County Commission Chairwoman June Jackson said that "if this application is approved, it will directly affect this part of Heard County in a negative way."

She's concerned about the alcohol sales, in particular.

"I would like to remind the applicant and your office that alcohol sales for these events have not been approved in Heard County," Jackson said in her report. "If alcohol sales are approved in Coweta County for these events and the entire festival area is used, it will affect Heard County also if those purchasing the alcohol utilize the Heard County area of the park," Jackson said. "Please consider Heard County's interest carefully when considering this application."

The planning department is recommending approval, with conditions.

Other items to come before the Board of Commissioners include:

• A presentation of the proposal for a planned expansion of the University of West Georgia Coweta campus.

• A discussion regarding Walt Sanders Road where trucks have gotten stuck on railroad tracks.

• A request from Stalwart Films regarding filming in Coweta.

• A decision on variance requests from Amerco Real Estate for a proposed U-Haul truck rental, storage, and retail facility at Thomas Crossroads.

• A decision on a conditional use permit and variances requests for Brian Szczech/Gold-Plated Gun Dogs for a dog training facility on Bear Creek Road.

• A decision on a conditional use permit for a permanent produce stand at the new convenience store in Madras.

• Presentation and acceptance of the 2011 audited financial statements.

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