The Planning Commission met to discuss a zoning regulation change and an annexation to a property just outside of town on Wednesday night.

GW Weld hopes to get zoning change approval so that he can turn the old Methodist church into a wedding venue and event space.

Weld appeared Wednesday night before the Planning Commission, which discussed a new zoning request for buildings to hold events. 

Weld owns the old Methodist church on Seventh and Church Street. However, the church is in a residential single-family district, making it difficult to hold events. 

“It would really show off the character and the beauty of the building, and it's been there for 100 years. It's a really important part of our community,” Weld said. “In fact, on this project, I've talked to several neighbors that think it would be a great use for it.” 

Weld spoke to the commission about the zoning request, saying that the building has been sitting vacant for 15 years and making it an event and wedding venue could bring new revenue to the city. 

“We don't have a lot of things where people are coming to town spending money and then leaving and so that's an important part of how the community funds infrastructure and other necessary things the city has to pay for,” Weld said. 

The inquiry prompted city staff to review zoning rules and found that, with the current regulations, the space could not be used as an event venue because of its current zoning. 

With current regulations, a non-residential building in this district is limited to adaptive reuse for only offices or institutional uses. These requests are on a “use permitted upon review” basis. 

“Other than the former church [on] Main Street, how many other existing buildings are there that would, sometime in the future, be considered for this?” Commissioner Tim Pringle said. 

Codes Administrator Curtis Baumann said there were not a lot of buildings under this category and the staff was mainly discussing the churches in town. 

The city had Jennifer Reinhardt with IBTS recommend scenarios that the event space would be allowed. Reinhardt said the permit process would require applicants to detail things like noise, parking, traffic and hours. Based on those answers, the commission could approve or deny applicants. 

“That's why I think your process is so attractive because they will be tailored to the specific development and each unique application would result in unique stipulations from the Planning Commission to mitigate the noise or the traffic concerns,” Reinhardt said. 

The commission voted to make a recommendation to the City Commission to approve the text amendment to the city of Eudora zoning regulations, Section 16-302.3.h

The amendment would expand adaptive reuse to include event venues with limited business activity. The changes would allow venues to complete applications for “use permitted upon review” for the use of existing, non-residential buildings only. 

Reach reporter Sara Maloney at

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