- Cullman, Alabama


June 2, 2013

Growing pains in Cullman

CULLMAN — A proposal to establish an entertainment district in north Cullman, which would have created a venue for live music, was rescinded last week after complaints from residents in the area.

Most of the complaints came from residents in Woodland Heights and along areas of St. Joseph Avenue. The largest complaints were fear that the indoor/outdoor live music venue would create too much noise and traffic for the area to handle.

The potential to establish entertainment districts came with the legalization of alcohol sales a few years ago. One district already exists to the west off U.S. 278. The new designation, known as E-1, would allow such features as an outdoor stage, a full bar and brewery and other characteristics. The track in question recently involved 10 acres of property the Alabama Highway 157 corridor that has numerous restaurants and hotels.

The request by local developer Bethany Seidel received a favorable recommendation from the city planning commission in Cullman, but once it passed on to the city council public pressure pretty much closed the door on the proposal in its present form. Her attorney, Steve Griffith, said the developer will take some time to review options for the land.

The property is certainly valuable. The idea that Seidel brought forward also is exciting to many area residents. Even one of the citizen’s opposed to the latest E-1 proposal found fault only in the location.

Nevertheless, the city is entering an exciting period of development. An enhanced effort to improve tourism is under way. More residents and business people are looking forward and seeing that entertainment is one method of increasing traffic into the area.

Plenty of opportunities remain for developers to enhance the quality of life in and around Cullman. Downtown is seeing a revival and a move toward more businesses that are creating a nightlife for area residents and visitors. Diversifying these efforts throughout the city will bring even more excitement to Cullman. The coming Bass Fishing Hall of Fame is expected to include a civic center and possibly an outdoor entertainment area. Achieving a balance between traditional community life and the need to grow in the business field can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. A lot of good ideas are surfacing throughout the area and eventually will bring more arts and entertainment to the community.


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