Another wedding venue fight brewing in Northampton County

January 15, 2020
huntington farm

Yet another fight between neighbors over a proposed wedding venue in Northampton County is brewing.

Tidewater Realty is representing four sisters who own a house and farm on Cherrystone Road called Huntington Farm and applying for a special use permit to turn it into a wedding venue, allowing up to 270 guests.

Catherine Fulton
Catherine Fulton addresses the Northampton Board of Supervisors, with her three sisters seated behind her.

“We are hoping to keep the grounds in shape,” said Catherine Fulton, one of the four sisters. “We want to remain in good standing with our neighbors.”

The Northampton Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at its January 8th meeting. Following the concerns of many neighbors, the Planning Commission voted to table the proposal to get more information.

A public hearing was conducted Tuesday night at the Northampton County Board of Supervisors meeting. Several neighbors showed up to speak against the venue.

Jennifer Buck gave a powerpoint presentation to express her opposition. Buck, who lives closest to the proposed venue with her husband Chris and their children, said the difference between Huntington Farm and other recently approved venues is that the house is surrounded by waterfront hamlet zoning. According to her, there are 16 houses within .2 miles of the proposed venue, and two houses that are within 450 feet.

“The closest house to the Wellington Neck venue is a half mile away,” she said. “This is not the right location for a wedding venue.”

Buck also pointed out that the home was already being advertised on popular websites such as HomeAway and VRBO as a wedding venue, despite having no approval whatsoever from the County. She further pointed out she had learned the sisters attended a bridal expo in Newport News this past weekend advertising the location as a venue.

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Kate Tayloe, another resident near Cherrystone, discussed her experience living near a wedding venue. According to Tayloe, she has called the police several times over noise complaints at the near by Mimosa Farm, another wedding venue in Northampton County on the same neck as Huntington House. She said at times her children are unable to sleep due to the noise.

Another one of the four sisters, Judy Swift, addressed the earlier comments about advertising the home as a wedding venue without County approval. Swift said they were at the bridal expo, but said the venue was only available for weddings pending county approval. She also said the family’s realtor is responsible for the marketing of the property as a wedding venue at the popular AirBnB websites, and they were working on getting the verbiage changed.

The four sisters and the neighbors have set a meeting date for January 23 for the neighbors to express concerns over the venue.

The Board unanimously voted to table the issue until the Planning Commission votes on a recommendation.


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