Wedding farm request withdrawnHomeowners on 950th Street spoke out against their neighbors opening a wedding reception business on their farm at a public hearing and regular town of River Falls board meeting Monday, Feb. 18.
By: Sarah Young, Correspondent , River Falls Journal
Homeowners on 950th Street spoke out against their neighbors opening a wedding reception business on their farm at a public hearing and regular town of River Falls board meeting Monday, Feb. 18.
Maureen Ash and Richard Purdy, N7659 950th St., wanted to host wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners at their farm, which they call Baldur Farm.
Their neighbors, Darla Goulette and Julie Sponsler, voiced their displeasure about the idea at the hearing.
Goulette, N7663 950th St., said when her family bought a home on that street, they did so because it was a private area.
“Two hundred people on our road will be terrible,” Goulette said. “None of the neighbors want this.”
She also noted when they bought their home, they had to sign an agreement with the developer stating they would not open a business.
Sponsler, N7649 950th St., agreed, saying the road is owned by all the property owners and she doesn’t know how road upkeep will be agreed upon if a business brings large numbers of extra vehicles on the road.
“We need a different legal contract basically,” Sponsler said. “The road is fragile to begin with.”
Sponsler reported the road is hard to maintain, that it washes out and a busy business will cause even more wear and tear.
Jay Herum, N7661 950th St., wrote a letter to the board voicing his concern about the number of events to be held, road maintenance and accident liability should a wedding guest have a mishap on the private road.
Ash, after hearing all her neighbors’ concerns, withdrew her request for a conditional use permit. She said her neighbors’ opinions are important to her.
Ash also said she understands her neighbors wanting to enjoy quiet surroundings on the weekends, because she too values her quiet time out there.
Town Board Chairwoman Diana Smith said she admires Ash for caring about her neighbors’ needs so much.
“I give you a lot of credit for listening to your neighbors and compromising on this,” Smith told Ash.
Jim Esler, a Coon Rapids, Minn., landowner in the town of River Falls, told the board they should revisit the law defining conditional use permits in exclusive agriculture areas before considering this type of business again.
He also told the board Ash and Purdy’s website advertises “rustic camping.” Campgrounds are not allowed in the town. Smith said it will be addressed.
The board approved the purchase of a new waste oil burning furnace for the town shop not to exceed $8,000.
The annual meeting was set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.
On Jan. 18 a building permit was issued to Brad Mogen, N7243 810th St., for a basement remodel.