A proposed wedding venue on Wellington Neck Road will once again come before the Northampton Board of Supervisors without the recommendation from the Northampton Planning Commission.
The proposed venue, owned by John and Linda Cleaveland, was met with heavy opposition from neighbors in the area.
At Wednesday night’s Planning Commission meeting, six spoke in favor of approving the special use permit application while nine spoke against.
The major complaints cited included the noise disrupting the neighbors’ tranquility, the increased traffic on the skinny and turtle necked Wellington Neck road and that the venue shares a dirt driveway with neighbors.
“It’s no way the driveway can stand that kind of traffic,” said Lemoigne Cree, a neighbor who shares a driveway with the Cleavelands. “To get personal, I have afib and can’t take the medicines that control afib, so I’m a very high candidate for a stroke. It worries me the medical vehicles won’t be able to reach me if I have a stroke.”
Another concern cited was that the Cleavelands have the property for sale, for $2.4 million.
Other neighbors spoke in favor of the venue, saying it will not be a disruption, nor will it make the area any more dangerous than it already is.
“I have witnessed at the end of my own driveway my own nieghbors that speed in and out of the neck,” said Jo Ann Molera, a resident of Wellington Neck. “I would say the walkers, with or without their pets, are more in danger from the local drivers as opposed to wedding people on any given Saturday.”
Others who spoke also cited the value of another venue on Northampton County’s economic development.
In the end, the Planning Commission decided against recommending the venue. Commissioner Lee Anders read a prepared statement, in which his major concern was noise, which was used as the motion to recommend against passage by the Board of Supervisors. The recommendation against passage was approved on a 3-1 vote with Sarah Morgan, Andrew Folmer and Anders voting yes and Dixon Leatherbury voting no. Commissioner Janet Sturgis abstained.