The historic New Holland community center can be used as an events venue, but under numerous conditions imposed by the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
The commission gave its OK Wednesday, Jan. 27, to allow the use at the center, including in the old Men’s Parlor, a room that occupies one end of the building that was used in the early 20th century as a social area for men.
But after hearing concerns from residents the commission required, among other things, no parking on surrounding streets, paying for “no parking signs” put up by the county and no fireworks.
“We’re going to try to do everything we can to make sure this is a good establishment,” said Betsy House, a physical therapy assistant helping with restoration of the center.
The brick structure, facing Jesse Jewell Parkway in the New Holland community, now houses Lanier Therapy in Motion and other medical offices.
House is one of the operators of New Holland Parlor, which was granted a rezoning from planned office development to planned commercial development so it could pursue “recreational and/or cultural uses of a commercial nature.”
A neighbor complained to the commission about events taking place at the venue, including parties with “loud music blaring directly at my house” and “fireworks being shot after 11:30 p.m.”
He referred to a New Year’s Eve shooting at the recreation center that injured two people and killed another person, saying, “That was the last straw for me.”
Frank Norton Jr., who converted a historic church next to the center into an apartment building, also complained of issues at the venue, including “illegal events in our own parking lot and on the street.”
The building “has lost one tenant already to the noise,” he said.
In her appeal for approval, House said, “I don’t want a place where I wouldn’t feel comfortable having my children there. … I don’t want a wild party happening there. That’s not what I’m after.”