Pitchforks were out Tuesday night at Minden's civic center.
Members of the Minden Historic Residential District met to discuss the proposed bed and breakfast/event venue to be owned by Jimmy Hall on Broadway.
The property is currently zoned as single family residential and Hall is asking the Minden Regional Planning Commission for a variance to open the venue in the heart of Minden's historic district.
Hall, who owns Party Express Catering, was on hand to answer questions from the audience.
He spoke on plans to purchase the home and reinvest into it to keep the historic integrity of the house and hopes to host six weddings a year.
That's one every two months for the ones that seem to think it will be a nightly thing.
He also addressed parking and noise concerns - all of which sound more than reasonable and would not lead to problems opponents are worried about.
There would be no parking along Broadway. Event-goers would have to park downtown and take a trolley, rented by the host, to the venue.
As with any change in Minden, comes the opposition.
One of the proposed problems dealt with the pastoral living quarters - which is next door to the proposed venue - of a downtown church.
One member from the church spoke on the search for a pastor of the church.
The concern was the church would not be able to find a pastor because ... "who would want to live next to that."
OK, so you're telling me that a man, who God has led to your church, would turn down a job because there is going to be about six weddings and a few tea parties next door to him.
Don't forget, we are not moving a vibrant nightclub into the home. It is an up-scale bed and breakfast with a place to host weddings and tea parties.
One opponent brought up the issue of opening Broadway up to commerce. She said "next thing you know we would have a gas station on Broadway."
By allowing a variance to the current ordinance, we are opening Pandora's box for any run-of-the-mill business along Broadway or Main?
No. That is just crazy.
It would have to go before the planning commission, just as this situation is. By allowing the venue to open, it does not do away with the current ordinances.
Ultimately, the commission voted 22-5 against the proposal. While their vote holds no merit, it will be presented as a recommendation to the planning commission.
The planning commission meets August 21 to make a final decision.
To the members of the community and commission:
Let's not let the fear of change make Minden lose another great opportunity.
As Pattie Odom said in the meeting, most area communities that have embraced ideas of the same have thrived.
I believe Minden's historic district is a ruby, but let's add a diamond to compliment it.
A vote in favor of the proposal would make Minden's future just a little bit brighter.
Let's not know be known as the community that rejects any change, but a community that embraces change and makes the best of it.
Who knows, this bed and breakfast/event venue could be the next great thing of the south ... right here in Minden.