Area wedding venue continuing the fight to change its hours

The operators of a western Miami County wedding venue are challenging in court a zoning appeals board’s vote to deny their request to expand the dates the barn-focused business is available for use.

The appeal by the Amy and Gary Ward, owners of Canyon Run Ranch on North Rangeline Road, Pleasant Hill, was filed Oct. 18 in county Common Pleas Court.

The Wards and some neighbors who have continued to air complaints about loud music and other concerns about the business in their rural area faced off most recently at a Sept. 20 meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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After hearing testimony from supporters and opponents, the board voted unanimously to deny Canyon Run’s request to expand from Friday and Saturday operations until 11 p.m. from May through October to seven days a week from March through December with weekday events ending by 10 p.m.

Amy Ward said Canyon Run Ranch this year hosted 34 weddings and welcomed more than 3,000 guests with no problems. A new sound system was bought in hopes of stemming music complaints, she said.

The expansion proposal was to meet demand by nonprofits for an event venue and for gatherings such as anniversary and other celebrations, she said.

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Some neighbors supported the Wards and the expansion, while several others complained about loud music and traffic. One claimed the operation had turned once peaceful weekends into a “nightmare.”

The venue opened in 2014. The Wards and the neighbors earlier were before the appeals board in December and January about neighbor complaints. The board then voted to allow the business to continue under a conditional use permit but tabled the request to expand days of operation for eight months. Board members urged the owners to work with the unhappy neighbors on resolving concerns.

Board member Kevin McDonald said Sept. 20 he had hoped following discussions at the earlier meetings about efforts to reduce noise and neighbors attempting to work together that the board would have heard a different tone.

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“I was hoping … with 34 weddings behind us, we would have more of a positive reaction from the audience,” he said.

The appeal states it is based on “questions of law and fact.” The appeal was assigned to Judge Christopher Gee.

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