Warren County commissioners cleared a key hurdle Tuesday for plans for another wedding center in the county by rezoning 10 acres just north of Lebanon High School.
The commissioners voted unanimously to rezone the land at 2206 Drake Road, part of 62 acres owned by the Jones family, represented at the meeting by Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Dan Jones.
“We do have quite a few wedding venues,” Commissioner Dave Young said. “They are not all well received by the neighbors.”
Last month, Jones told the county’s Rural Zoning Commission he and his sister decided, on behalf of their mother, to sell 10 acres of the land and “believed they had found the perfect fit with the potential buyers,” according to meeting minutes.
On Tuesday, Ben and Kelly Woodall told the commissioners they planned to live in the home on the property fronting Drake Road and remodel an existing barn for weddings and other gatherings.
Kelly Woodall said they had been meeting with neighbors about any concerns with their plans.
“That’s a huge concern for us,” Kelly Woodall said.
The rezoning was conditionally approved on Nov. 21 by the Warren County Regional Planning Commission.
Michelle Tegtmeier, the county’s chief zoning inspector, said the wedding center project would be brought back to the commissioners for approval.
Wedding centers are permitted in Warren County through a conditional use permitting process.
Neighbors unsuccessfully fought plans for the Stone Valley Meadows wedding center now operating on Robinson-Vail Road in Franklin Twp.
At the December meeting on the Jones farm project, neighboring farmers James and Marry Lou Stephens expressed concerns about when they spread manure in the spring and noise, trash and light issues from the school and Urbancrest Baptist Church, north on Drake Road.
Rural Zoning Commissioner Fred Grimm asked the Woodalls “if they were sure that the county needs another wedding venue,” according to the minutes.
In response to questions, Woodall said they planned to find a different market and offer places for “people to gather,” sometimes at no cost.
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