Mike and Marcie Griesmeyer saw a business opportunity when their daughter Lauren had trouble finding a local wedding venue.
“We started looking for places to have the wedding and reception, and we thought, ‘Wow, there aren’t that many,’” Mike Griesmeyer said. “To the north of town, there’s not a lot of places that are available as a year-round operation, with heating and cooling.”
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Three years later (and after a destination wedding for Lauren in Cozumel, Mexico, last year), the Griesmeyers hope to make a rundown farm in Huber Heights a wedding destination of their own.
Plans for the Walnut Ridge Wedding Venue call for two reception halls, two outdoor venues, two ponds and a parking lot situated on 10 acres at 4250 Fishburg Road.
The two reception halls will be available year round and will hold 125 and 250 people respectively, Griesmeyer said. One of the buildings will feature a walk-out basement attached to a patio overlooking one of the ponds.
“All of these (buildings) will have a bar area, restrooms, bride and groom areas that are very functional,” Griesmeyer said. “In most of the other places, that was something that wasn’t available.”
The family has already started to clean up the property. An existing structure on the land — an old 1800s farmhouse severely damaged by fire last year — was torn down, and about 8 acres of honeysuckle have been cleared.
Griesmeyer, of Tipp City, is the president of Wealth Management Group Inc., a Tipp City investment management and financial planning firm.
In late August, the Huber Heights zoning commission voted in favor of recommending a zoning change for the property, with several conditions. Among them, use of the land should “strictly comply” with city noise ordinances, and a 15-foot landscape buffer should be maintained around the south and east property lines.
The change is from agriculture to planned public and private builings and grounds.
The project has received some resistance from neighbors concerned about noise, traffic and water flow, Griesmeyer said.
Planning commission member David Wilson, a candidate for mayor, said he voted against a zoning change for the project because he was concerned about the property’s proposed septic tank.
Griesmeyer said he is attempting to address neighbor concerns, and said he hopes noise from the venue will be buffered by the landscaping they will build to keep the sounds of Fishburg Road traffic from disrupting the weddings. He said receptions hosted at the venue will likely have an 11 p.m. shut-down time.
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