Planning Commission: Two special event centers on Tuesday’s agenda

January 20, 2017
Santa Paula News

The Planning Commission will consider two similar projects — special event facilities — at the Tuesday, January 24 meeting, proposals that were the focus of a meeting of Downtown merchants late last year.

With the death last year of Commissioner Fred Wacker and the recent resignation of Commissioner John Demers, only three commissioners remain.

The January 24 meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at City Council Chambers at City Hall, 970 E. Ventura St.

Commissioners will consider two separate banquet halls, one already through the process but now being revived, and a second, new plan, each at opposite ends of Main Street.

Adan Sandoval, the owner of La Terraza Restaurant, had the adjacent building approved for use as a banquet hall in May 2014. He subsequently let his permit for the facility, located just east of La Terraza on the corner of 10th and Main streets, lapse.

Jose Melgar, the owner of Melgar Photography, is seeking to open the former J.C. Penney building located on Main Street just east of 8th Street, as an event center.

Both will be seeking Conditional Use Permits at Tuesday’s meeting, which will not be televised.

Sandoval, a second-generation Santa Paula restaurant owner, will renovate the space, now a furniture store, to hold 300 people; he also has plans to serve Sunday brunch with mariachi entertainment.

Melgar proposes using the 13,000 square foot, two-story building as an event center for a variety of activities large and small, an upscale venue for celebrations as well as business meetings, classes, conferences and other uses including nonprofit events. 

In November, Sandoval plans were to open the new space in April, a month before Melgar said he would like to debut the first phase of his project.

Some Downtown merchants have expressed concerns regarding parking, alcohol use and noise among other issues.

The City Council will have final approval on the projects.

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