This marked the second time a request to rezone this property for an event center had come to the commission. Over the summer, a similar request was made but was ultimately withdrawn after receiving a negative recommendation from the commission. Since then, a number of changes had been made to the proposal, city staff said.
This latest proposal listed the event center as two stories tall and able to seat approximately 800 people for weddings, receptions and other ceremonies, according to meeting documents. An outdoor area could accommodate small weddings, small dinners and photos.
The outdoor area would be situated between the proposed event center and the proposed small pond area, 200 feet away from existing residential homes to the north and south of the site. It would also have a maximum capacity of 300 people, according to meeting documents.
In addition, changes had been made to limit the use of outdoor speakers after 9 p.m. and reduce the amount of light that would come from the event center and onto the nearby neighborhoods, city staff said. A gated entrance would also help discourage parking on nearby access streets.
However, concerns persisted regarding potential light pollution, noise, parking, disorderly guests and the building size of the proposed event center. McKinney homeowners packed the McKinney Council Chambers and turned in letters of opposition describing how the event center was the wrong fit for the surrounding neighborhoods.
Currently, the site for the proposed event center is zoned for retail and professional offices. The applicant for the event center requested for retail and office to be developed on the site in addition to the event center.
Commissioners said in their comments that this was a tough decision. Commissioner Cam McCall said he liked the idea of bringing business to McKinney, but he said the project backing up to single-family residences was a con.
Commissioner Brian Mantzey pointed out the site is on a major boulevard and intersection and would likely not remain undeveloped forever. However, he ultimately voted against the development, saying the size of the building “probably exceeds what should be in that general area.”
In the end, a motion to deny the project was approved 5-2, with Commissioners Bill Cox and Bry Taylor voting in favor of the project.
“I think this project deserves its chance to develop,” Cox said.
The development request will be sent to the McKinney City Council on Dec. 1 with a negative recommendation from commissioners.
In addition, the opposition from residents was enough to necessitate a supermajority vote at City Council, meaning all six of the current City Council members would have to vote in favor of the development for it to be approved.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the vote to give a negative recommendation to the rezoning project was approved 5-2.