Local News

July 9, 2013

Big barn gets OK for events

Jimmie K. Mason Jr. got the “good to go” sign from county officials Monday night to open his big wooden barn for events such as weddings, proms and church events.

After a public hearing and discussion that lasted nearly an hour-and-a-half, the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners in a 4-0 vote granted a special use permit for Mason to operate the 11,000-square-foot barn as an event center for up to 299 people.

The property is on Colonial Way, a private road off of Riverbend Road, and is zoned agriculture. Mason’s 77.62 acres of property includes a working cattle farm.

“I’m pleased,” Mason said. “I’m excited.”

Commissioners approved the measure over the objection of several of Mason’s neighbors. One person said he had no problem with the event center while three others voiced concerns about road safety or other issues.

James Pritchett, who lives on Riverbend Road, said he’s concerned about people driving from the property drunk and causing problems.

“My major concern would be safety on the road,” he said.

During a public hearing before the Dalton-Whitfield County Planning Commission on June 26, commission members recommended the Board of Commissioners grant Mason’s special use request as long as he widens the entrance of Colonial Way to 40 feet so it is wide enough for two cars to pass, events end by 1 a.m., and he complies with any additional local, state and federal regulations for group assembly and the environment. Commissioners approved those stipulations.

Neighbor Tim Thomason said he and Mason are in court over who owns the area where Mason is proposing to widen the road. Thomason said Colonial Way actually belongs to him and that Mason doesn’t have the legal right to widen it, but commissioners said that’s a matter for the court to decide and that their decision was made with the assumption Mason has lawful use of the property.

Thomason said he wasn’t opposed to the event center, but he’s concerned about traffic on Riverbend Road.

“I’m afraid there will be blood on the road,” he said.

Mason said he has started preparations for widening Colonial Way but has had to postpone some of the work because of the rains. He and his wife, Tammy, are getting ready to market the center for business.

Commissioner Lynn Laughter initially suggested making an exception to the 1 a.m. curfew so Boy Scout groups could stay overnight if they wanted to use the land — a scenario Mason had asked about. She withdrew the suggestion after County Attorney Robert Smalley said Mason could still allow groups to use his property for free without permission from commissioners.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    Money.
    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014