The former Gardenland Nursery in Sherman is being turned into an event center for weddings, parties and meetings.


The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission heard a request from owners Martin Investment Properties for a zoning change, site plan and specific use permit on Tuesday, but tabled the item at the request of representative Allen Martin so he could provide a more detailed site plan. Martin plans to remodel the former nursery located at 1615 North Maxey Street and 810 North Frisco Road into a venue that can accommodate outdoor weddings and gatherings.


“We purchased what was formerly known as Gardenland Nursery, assuming it was commercial (zoned) already,” Martin said, as one of the lots is currently zoned as a one family residential district and the other is a general commercial district. “Come to find out one of our parcels is zoned residential. We aren’t necessarily building anything, but just restructuring the two acres it sits on from a nursery to an event center/venue.”


The site plan submitted to the city show developers plan to install a circle driveway that goes around a windmill along North Maxey Street, while most of the parking for the venue will be off North Frisco Road. The plans also show bridges, an exterior fountain, porch and pergola at other points around the property.


Martin said he plans to convert an existing building into a larger event hall that can accommodate more people and remove another building in order to create additional space for parking. After being asked about where he sees the event center business going in the future, Martin said he would love to see it expand.


“I would like to have more than one location,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”


The owners also requested an exception to allow the business, which will be on the southeast corner of the intersection of North Frisco Road and North Maxey Street, to have a gravel parking lot and a separate exception that will allow it to have a metal and cedar exterior facade instead of the usually required masonry. Martin said the request to allow gravel was just for cost effectiveness, but he would be open to paving the drive.


Several commission members expressed an issue with planned parking, as not all of the proposed parking was shown on the site plan.


“Here’s the deal on this — you’re asking to be able to park on gravel in lieu of the concrete but we don’t know exactly where that is, other than you’ve told us but I don’t see it on the drawing,” Vice Chairman Eric Elliott said. “It makes it hard to look at that as a variance when I don’t know exactly what that’s going to be.”


Elliott said having a better drawing and more information would be helpful, sentiments that were echoed by Chairman Clay Mahone and commission member David Downtain, who noted he thought it looked like a “fun” project.


The motion to table the request was approved unanimously, though commission member Leigh Ann Sims recused herself from the item and commission member Jeff Adams was absent from the meeting.