The board also considered a request by the Wards to expand the permit to allow events at the more than 150-acre property throughout the week such as wine tastings, educational field trips, business meetings and charitable events until 10 p.m.
Witnesses speaking in favor of revoking the permit testified wedding activities went beyond the closing time, that music was excessively loud and that people were getting lost finding the location.
“This business has evolved into a living nightmare,” Farmer said. Neighbor Amy Evans said she and her husband worked early on weekends and had to wear earplugs to sleep. “I moved out there for the peace and quiet,” she said.
Supporters of the venue, including neighbors as well as vendors working events, described the business as well run and DJs and others instructed on controlling music volume and hours of operation.
Amy Ward said the business was not “a slipshod operation,” had never been cited by sheriff’s deputies and brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy. Neighbor Sam Dewey said, “We have not had any issues whatsoever with the venue. … It’s sad neighbors can’t get along.”
In the end, the board declined to revoke the conditional use permit, but encouraged the Wards and neighbors to work to address concerns, particularly noise. The board members said they thought the business was a good concept but then tabled the request for expanded days of operations for eight months, again to allow time for work on solutions.
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