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New events center coming to county
Commission approves zoning, permit for facility
Dereck Hollingshead award
The Barton County Employee Relations Committee recommends outstanding individuals for the quarterly Employees Recognition Award. This time around it was Dereck Hollingshead, network administrator/service technician in the Information Technology Department. He was nominated by the ERC Committee “in light of the significant impact he’s had on county services.” Pictured with Hollingshead (left) is Mark Cooper, ERC president. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Action by the Barton County Commission Monday morning opens the door for a long-time Great Bend business to relocate to a rural setting 5 miles northeast of town and expand to include an events center. Approved was a zoning amendment request and a conditional-use permit to allow Debbie and Randy Deutsch to operate their Cornerstone Interiors and the new center at 464 NE 20 Ave. Plans are to have the facility, dubbed Corinthian Hills, remodeled and ready by May, 2020.

“This is one of the most exciting projects we’ve had for a while,” said county Zoning Administrator Judy Goreham said. The county last year amended its zoning guidelines to allow event centers and this marks the first business to take advantage of this.

“They’ve been looking for a while to find a place so they can keep their business in Barton County,” Goreham said.  

On Nov. 19, the Barton County Planning Commission held a public hearing to consider an application submitted by Matt and Tami Dykes to rezone about 15 acres from agricultural district to light manufacturing service commercial district, Goreham said. This is so they can sell property to the Deutsches (they take possession Feb. 8), who want to move their business from Main Street in Great Bend to the location. 

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the zoning amendment for the property located at 464 NE 20 Ave.  

As a follow-up to this change, the county commission OKed a conditional land use permit application for the site, something the Planning Commission also backed. 

This will allow the Deutsches to operate Cornerstone Interiors there and also use the property for the event center, Goreham said.  

Debbie Deutsch has been a designer for 39 years and about 13 years ago she was asked to handle a wedding in Wichita. Since then, “we’ve grown this part of our business,” she said.

“I’ve watched the market,” she said. “We’ve kept track of the larger weddings that are leaving the county.”

So, six years ago, they started looking for a property to establish their own events facility.

Goreham said that if the property changes hands, the zoning will remain in place. However, the use permit will no longer be valid.

Barton County Commission meeting at a glance

Here is a quick look at what the Barton County Commission did Monday morning:

• Heard a report from Health Director Shelly Schneider that the Health Department is investigating a possible active tuberculosis case in Barton County.

• Presented an employee recognition award to Dereck Hollingshead.

• Approved a zoning change for 464 NE 20 Ave. from agricultural to light manufacturing.

• Approved a conditional-use permit for that property. This way, once Cornerstone Interiors takes ownership, it can operate the business at that location.

• Made appointments to the Local Emergency Planning Committee. Named were: Christina Jimenez, Sunflower Diversified Services; and Cherie Nicholson, USD 431 Hoisington. Reappointed were: Gaila Demel, United Way of Central Kansas; Brittney Bailey, Ellinwood EMS; Judy Goreham, Barton County Environmental Management; Linn Hogg, RSVP & Volunteers in Action – Central KS; Amy Miller, Barton County Emergency Management; Martin Miller, Great Bend Airport; and Dena Popp, Barton County Communications/911.   

The Barton County LEPC is comprised of representatives from the following groups: State/local officials; law enforcement; fire fighting; emergency management; health; hospital; broadcast media and/or communications media; transportation; local environmental group; community service/civic group; emergency medical services; and facilities/industries regulated by SARA Title III. Nominations had been sought for appointment according to LEPC bylaws, Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller said.