Planning Commission Recommends Rezone for Circus Venue

Staff Report
BRADENTON — At Thursday's meeting, the Manatee Planning Commission voted to recommend approval for Cirque Italia to build a 52,000-square-foot performance venue and a 20,000-square-foot multi-use structure in Oneco. The item will now be sent to the Manatee County Commission for a vote.

The company, which produces the "Paranormal Cirque" show that has been hosted near the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto in recent years, also produces two "water circus" events. The company hopes to rezone a little over 5.5 acres where the former Oneco Glass Company once operated at 1623 53rd Avenue East.

The events would be held in a 53-foot-tall circus tent, which would be taken down after each production. A two-story commercial building would be constructed where the glass company building currently stands and would accommodate 20,000 square feet of office and commercial space, along with eight multi-family residential units.

Scott Rudacille, the attorney representing Cirque Italia, said that there would be no more than 40 performance days per year with no event lasting longer than 20 days. Rudacille also said that no alcohol would be sold and that no animals are used in the company's productions.

Some citizens expressed concerns over traffic, noise, and the somewhat mature themes of the company's Paranormal Cirque production, which has an R rating and requires an adult to accompany any guest under 17. with no one under 13 admitted. 

Commissioners voted 4-3 to recommend that the BOCC approve the request with commissioners Cindy Kebba, John De Lesline, and Bill Conerly dissenting.

Reader Comments
Ruth Newsome
MAY 16, 2022  •  I received a card in the mail Thursday about the R-rated circus. I had not heard anything about this prior to the notice and the next day I read the planning board had approved it. Sirely residents have a right to a say in these things. An R Rated circus in a residential area bringing in all kinds of crime. Not to mention the traffic problems since coming from anywhere but the east you cannot make a turn without turning around at some point. Someone was getting a kickback to say yes to this.