Meridian Live Get's "NO" from PCB Planning Board; Owner Not Done - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Meridian Live Get's "NO" from PCB Planning Board; Owner Not Done Yet

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A Panama City Beach entrepreneur gets a big no from the city of Panama City Beach.

The concert and convention venue Meridian Live who was hoping to make it's home at the old Publix on Hutchison Boulevard hit a road block Monday, when concerns were brought before the planning board.

The opposition was not in short supply letting their thoughts on the future "House of Blues" like venue be known.

"One has to do with the noise," said one man. "The other has to do with security."

"We are concerned," said Jane Eckert of the residential community behind the shopping plaza. "Very, very concerned."

"I think it would be very beneficial for the city to have some type of venue such as this," said a supporter. "Where we could get away from something like a La Vela into something different."

"I understand he's done self imposed restrictions on himself," said Chief of Police Drew Whitman "Those can change. He's got a lease with his landlord and the only one that can enforce that is the landlord -- not me."

The room was nearly full at City Hall. Most who spoke were residents behind the shopping center off Richard Jackson Boulevard. The planning board put the approval to a vote though and denied the request to the facility. Owner Chris Pitts says although this is disappointing this isn't the end of the road for Meridian Live.

"I've been told no many times," said Pitts. "I think that all this is an opportunity for us to sit there put the facts out there and have a conversation."

"Everybody loves the rest of the idea, but concerts are something we have a problem with. So, let's limit this, lets put some restrictions in place so where the community and the neighborhoods you know in the area feel confident that there wont be any issues."

This isn't the end of the road though for Pitts and his supporters. The planning boards recommendation will go in front of the City Council Thursday December 12th at 6:00pm.

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