Micanopy may soon be home to a new entertainment venue – thanks to a decision at a Tuesday meeting by the Micanopy Town Commission and Planning and Historic Preservation Board.
Bonnie Mountain, owner of Micanopy Canopy Connection, recently proposed that her business’s building be rezoned to allow it to become a music venue in an effort to bring more foot traffic to the town. The commission and board agreed – and now the proposal will advance once an ordinance is drafted to allow for an indoor entertainment venue.
The ordinance will be reviewed by the city commission and eventually be subject to a public hearing.
Mountain said her proposal was met with wide support from the community. After posting her idea on a Facebook page for Micanopy residents, Mountain received around 80 comments in support of her idea, and said the local interest continues to grow.
At the workshop, Micanopy Mayor Ginny Mance noted the community’s enthusiasm towards the proposal, an observation that was met with applause from Micanopy residents and business owners.
Suggested uses for the new venue ranged from live music to theater performances.
“This is something that could be a positive move for the town,” Mance said.
Members of the board who were more cautious towards the plan included Tom Brady, who expressed concern over residents’ potential reaction to the venue, as well as regulatory concerns like seating capacity, hours of operation and handicap accessibility.
According to Mountain, a fire chief has inspected the potential venue but a maximum capacity has not been determined.
Mountain’s brother, Billy Mountain, attended the meeting in support of his sister’s proposal. He said he has already talked to many local business owners and found that they are in favor of the development of a music venue.
David Crawford, who has lived around Micanopy for 33 years, said he does not think a concert venue would have any negative bearings on local residents. He also said local shops and eateries could benefit by staying open later on nights that the venue would be active.
“There has been an erosion of the general public [in Micanopy],” Crawford said. “If this town does not change, it’s going to dry up.”
Jerry Morris, who owns the Micanopy store Sunflower with his wife Holly, said that he often talks to those who come into his store and finds that many of them are visiting Micanopy to relax and explore. He said he believes a music venue would perpetuate this kind of interest in the town.
“It’s gonna be fantastic for the area,” Morris said.