URBANA — The Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals will consider a proposal Thursday evening to amend the zoning map to allow development of an event center in rural Gifford.

Arik and Kyli Miller are petitioning for a zoning change from the AG-1 to the AG-2 agriculture zoning district designation.

The Millers would like to remodel existing farm buildings and/or possibly later construct new buildings for the establishment and use of an event center for private indoor recreational development and outdoor commercial recreations event use.

The AG-2 designation requires that an event center be at least 200 feet from a residence. They would like that waived to 0 feet.

The property is a 10.3-acre tract at 2079 CR 2600N. The site is 3 miles south and 2 miles west of Gifford. It is a mile from Flatville.

John Hall, director of the Champaign County Department of Planning and Zoning, said as of Thursday afternoon there had been no stated opposition to the Millers’ proposal.

"We have two or three letters from neighbors supporting their request," Hall said. "We have talked to (Compromise Township officials), and as long as no one parks on the street, the township is not concerned about it."

Hall said there is some question whether the hearing can be completed Thursday night. He said the question of sanitary service at the site might not be resolved.

"Whether it can go in relying on porta-potties for a while," until a septic system can be upgraded, remains to be seen. "We haven’t had a chance to get comments from the Health Department," Hall said.

He said the Millers plan to use an existing building initially and then would build a new building if the enterprise proves successful.

The existing building is "a beautiful old dairy barn," he said. "The previous owner has taken good care of the barn. They are thinking that people would want to come out there and have weddings" and other events.

The hearing will commence at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyle Shields Meeting Room at Brookens Administrative Center, Urbana.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com