Wedding venue near Columbia approved

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The Monroe County Zoning Board of Appeals approved at its meeting last Wednesday night the final step to allow a wedding venue in rural Columbia. 

The board voted 4-1 to OK a special use permit for the wedding/reception venue at 1439 Centerville Road. The permit is good for two years and has no outside music limitations. 

“There was not a special use for this,” Monroe County Zoning Administrator Chris Voelker noted. “It wasn’t allowed because there wasn’t an ordinance for that to be allowed in an ag district.” 

Owned by Greg and Melinda Meyer, the proposed venue has faced somewhat of an uphill battle after nearby residents complained it would cause problems like traffic growth, light pollution and sound disturbances. 

The Monroe County Board approved the venue back in January, provided that a special use permit was attached so the county could have control over what type of business could operate in this location.

The zoning board originally voted 3-2 to rezone the area from agricultural to business, and later voted unanimously to amend the zoning code to allow for the special use permit. 

With this step completed, the Meyers only have routine paperwork to complete before they could open the venue. 

“They are approved,” Voelker said. “Now they just have to get the permits to finish it up.”

Greg said he and his wife are happy to see everything approved and predicted the venue, called Sugar Spring Ranch, will not cause the problems residents are fearful of. 

“We’re thrilled,” he said. “The county did far more than its fair share of due diligence and really considered everyone’s opinion, as did we. We’re moving forward, and I think the community will find this is not going to be as problematic as they might have believed.” 

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