October 3, 2022
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Adult circus: Public meeting for controversial Oneco business plan held Thursday

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ONECO, Fla. (WFLA) — Manatee County families were expected to voice their opinions at a meeting Thursday about controversial development proposed for a piece of property in Oneco.

The site off State Road 70 near 53rd Avenue East is basically empty and neighbors are worried about what could be coming to the spot.

Cirque Italia wants to re-zone the 5.6 acre property and bring a 20,000 square foot performance tent, a concession tent and 128 parking spaces steps away. The development would also include two-story multi-use building and up to eight residential units, according to the proposal.

“It does not fit our neighborhood at all,” said longtime Oneco resident Margi Nanney. “If you are only 50 to 60 feet away here, and there was a huge tent with lighting and noise and everything — what is that gonna do to your lifestyle? It will devalue the property. It’s just not compatible.”

Neighbors are also not happy about the show’s content.

The entertainment company advertises R-rated production “Paranormal Cirque,” which includes adult language and content not intended for anyone under 17.

Bill Bailey, pastor at Happy Gospel Church says the content is his biggest worry.

“Blood, gore, we don’t think that is a fit for our Oneco community. Not when there are multiple churches, schools and daycares that are within walking distance of that property. It just doesn’t fit our area,” he said.

8 On Your Side reached out to Cirque Italia for comment.

A representative said they hope to create a functional property for the community.

“It is our aim that this project will also encourage and attract other investors to come and contribute to the community,” they added.

Manatee County commissioners will make the final decision on the project.

A public hearing about the proposal was set for Thursday morning at 9 a.m.



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