In a 6-1 vote March 26, Bexley City Council approved a resolution that requires weekend rental events where alcohol is served at a new space to be built at Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave., to end by 11:30 p.m.
The legislation also limits such events to one a month, for a total of 12 events per year in the first year that the new space is open, and up to 24 events per year in the second year.
Council President Lori Ann Feibel and council members Mary Gottesman, Monique Lampke, Steve Keyes, Troy Markham and Richard Sharp voted for the legislation.
Tim Madison cast the sole dissenting vote. He said it places too many restrictions on Jeffrey Mansion event rentals.
"It's an underutilization of Jeffrey Mansion," Madison said. "I think that this new space, if it gets built, should be able to be used at least one time per week during the months when people want to use it."
Feibel said the city should take into account the needs of those who rent the facility for events and others who use the mansion's park space.
"We're trying really hard to make sure that the entire park and the event space is open and accessible to everyone," Feibel said.
"I would hate to think that every time that somebody had an opportunity to take their child out for a swing on a Saturday night, there's going to be a huge event there."
Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said the guidelines for the new space originally were drafted by the Jeffrey Mansion Master Plan Refresh Committee. Last year, the committee held a series of public meetings and updated the 2008 Jeffrey Mansion Master Plan in anticipation of a planned expansion of the facility that is set to begin in 2020.
"All of us were very comfortable having a public process to make sure we had adequate public input to make sure what the Jeffrey Mansion plan might look like," Kessler said.
The Jeffrey Mansion Master Plan Refresh Committee recommended that rental events involving alcohol in the new space would be allowed once a month and end by 10 p.m.
The city's Recreation Board earlier this year revised that recommendation to 11 p.m. but upheld the once-a-month restriction.
Council members revised the guidelines further, allowing weekend events to end by 11:30 p.m.
Events that will be held Mondays through Thursdays must end by 11 p.m. and may be held only 12 times per year in the first year and 24 times per year in the second year.