Changes happening in Wesley Chapel

Planning board hopes to review CUP for town hall next month, village says goodbye to town employee

by Josh Whitener

Wesley Chapel could soon begin construction of its $1.25 million town hall. Rendering courtesy of Wesley Chapel

WESLEY CHAPEL – As plans for the construction of Wesley Chapel’s first town hall are under way, village officials hope to have a conditional use permit (CUP) drafted and submitted to the village planning board for review next month.

For that to happen, the CUP plans must be completed within the next three weeks, planning and zoning administrator Joshua Langen said.

“We want to get it to the planning board in July, so that means they need to have it in their packets by (July 10),” Langen said.

The town hall will be a 6,700-square-foot building that includes a main council chamber, meeting rooms, office space, a kitchen and a reception area to greet visitors. The $1.25 million project also includes space for parking and will be constructed on six acres donated to the village by Aston Properties.

“It’s basically a building and a parking lot, the grounds aren’t really affected, there’s no landscaping beyond the buffers that are required, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary or that you wouldn’t expect,” Langen said of what the village expects the CUP to include.

The village recently reached an agreement with Aston Properties that will provide a shared access road between the town hall and Aston’s shops, leading to Highway 84. The agreement allows Wesley Chapel to move forward with the project’s next steps, which include the CUP, a request for proposal and, ultimately, the park’s construction.

“We’ve worked out the agreement with Aston Properties, so we’re pretty much ready to go,” Langen said.

Chairman of the town hall building committee Bill Meyer, council member Howard Brotton and president of Fuller Architecture, John Fuller, will work together on the CUP. The village plans to have the proposed CUP presented to the village board of adjustments on Aug. 20.

In other Wesley Chapel news, the council recently accepted a letter of resignation from the village’s administrative assistant, Melody Graham. Graham, who was hired several months ago to issue privilege licenses and write grants, resigned citing family matters.

Village administrator Cheryl Bennett said Graham plans to stay on through the end of June and will likely finish her duties for the month by the time she leaves.

“We will very much miss Melody Graham,” Bennett said. “She’s done a great job.”

The council recently voted to increase the hours and budget for the administrative assistant position for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The village set aside $10,920 for the position, which covers 12 to 18 hours per week. The increase was due to the need to assign additional duties to the administrative assistant.

Bennett said the council hopes to hire a candidate previously considered for the position to take Graham’s place by the end of the month.

“It should be a smooth transition,” she said.

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