The Dunn Planning Board, Tuesday, unanimously approved a conditional use permit for an event venue to be operated by well-known businessman and Councilman Billy Tart and his wife, Vickie. The matter will go before Dunn City Council for a final vote after a public hearing on April 13.
Billy Tart, who operates Triangle Waffle and previously owned and operated the former Brass Lantern Steakhouse, is proposing an event venue for 105 E. Broad St.
The business sits on a .04 acre site on the north side of Broad Street in downtown. It was most recently the home of the now-shuttered Grandma B’s Doll Boutique.
Billy Tart did not speak during the meeting but Dunn Planning Director George Adler said the popular entrepreneur is proposing a facility that could be used for events such as weddings, class reunions, Christmas parties and other occasions.
Adler compared the proposed business to the Indigo Room, which operates in Erwin. He said it will not negatively effect the downtown area, will fit with other businesses already there and will have minimal effects on the business climate of downtown.
Planning Board member Joe Miriello made the motion to approve the facility.
“We need to work as hard as we can to be business friendly in our downtown area,” Miriello said. “We need to help the property owners there fill up their buildings.”
Miriello noted a recent experience that highlighted the need for the business.
“We had a high school reunion and we had to go to Erwin because there wasn’t space available (here),” he said.
The need for the facility expanded last year when Tart closed the Brass Lantern, he added. The business closed to make room for the Interstate 95 expansion.
Miriello’s motion was seconded and unanimously approved. The matter will now be heard by the Dunn City Council.
Adler said, because it is a conditional use request, the council will act as a quasi judicial body to approve or deny it. A positive vote by the council will allow Tart to move forward with his project.