County Commissioners Expect Passionate Arguments At Green Bluff - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

County Commissioners Expect Passionate Arguments At Green Bluff Hearing Today

Posted: Updated:
KHQ.COM - The County Commissioners are holding the final hearing today at 3pm to discuss whether or not weddings can be held at Green Bluff.

In recent years, more and more couples find the natural beauty of Green Bluff to be the perfect scenery for a wedding.

And, many of the local farms and orchards there are in favor of hosting weddings and events on their land to bring in extra revenue and visitors.

JoAnne Smatlan, owner of High Country Orchard at Green Bluff, said she is always trying to find ways to bring more people to Green Bluff during the off-season.

She is adamantly committed to maintaining the country ambiance Green Bluff offers; however, she said hosting small weddings as long as there are boundaries should be allowed for people actively running a farm too.

"I think there's a big demand in the community," she said. "We don't want a party hardy place, and we tell people that."

Craig Deitz, longtime Green Bluff resident who runs Bodacious Berries, Fruits and Brews said hosting weddings at Green Bluff is necessary to its success and longevity.

"If Green Bluff isn't allowed to be a viable agri-tourism area, then it will be consumed," he said.

People who oppose having weddings at Green Bluff argue that the extra noise and traffic are detrimental to its atmosphere.

However, JoAnne points out that in every day life on Green Bluff, residents experience loud noise from small airplane training and constant tractors running.

She also said her orchard actively controls noise from their events with sound decible readers and by making sure everyone clears out by 9pm at the very latest.

"I hope they look at it realistically," said Smatlan. "We're trying to compromise and we don't want to disturb our neighbors. We'll do everything we can to make it palatable."

Commissioner Al French said today at the hearing, he hopes to find a "happy medium" in terms of managing the commercialization of Green Bluff and maintaining its rural-agricultural roots.

"Green Bluff is a jewel, it's Americana at its best," Commissioner French explained. "And we need to protect and respect the character of its community."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    FIRST ON KHQ.COM: hikers find body in Spokane Valley; homicide investigation begins

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:29 GMT
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- On Thursday night major crimes detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office began investigating the discovery of a body in Spokane Valley.The body was found earlier in the evening by a couple walking in a wooded area near Parkside At Mirabeau Apartments.>>
  • Two vehicle crash hospitalizes five, including one child

    Two vehicle crash hospitalizes five, including one child

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:07 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Right now Spokane Police and Washington State Patrol troopers are responding to a two-vehicle crash at East Trent and North Napa. Five people were injured in the crash, including one child. We do not know the extent of the injuries, but all five were taken to the hospital. Crews tell us that it appears a black SUV ran a red light and t-boned a black car. .>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Right now Spokane Police and Washington State Patrol troopers are responding to a two-vehicle crash at East Trent and North Napa. Five people were injured in the crash, including one child. We do not know the extent of the injuries, but all five were taken to the hospital. Crews tell us that it appears a black SUV ran a red light and t-boned a black car. .>>
  • Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Candlelight vigil held for both husband and wife in murder-suicide

    Friday, August 1 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 06:22:44 GMT
    Chris and Sheena HendersonChris and Sheena Henderson
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness.On July 8th, Spokane police say 37-year-old Chris Henderson went to the Deaconess Medical Center complex where his wife, 30-year-old Sheena Henderson, worked and shot her multiple times. He then fatally shot himself. No one else was hurt.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Thursday night there was a candlelight vigil held for Chris and Sheena Henderson in Franklin Park. The vigil was overseen by a Spokane Police Chaplain. He said that today's vigil was about hope, help, healing, and ultimately, forgiveness. >>INSIDE: Raw interview with Sheena Henderson's father
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • $100 million response plan launching after 729 Ebola related deaths

    $100 million response plan launching after 729 Ebola related deaths

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-08-01 16:07:01 GMT
    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease. The World Health Organization said Friday it is launching a new joint $100 million response plan to the outbreak that has killed at least 729 people in four countries.>>
    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - Presidents from the West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak are meeting with world health leaders to come up with ways to stop the spread of the deadly disease. The World Health Organization said Friday it is launching a new joint $100 million response plan to the outbreak that has killed at least 729 people in four countries.>>
  • Otter attacks swimmers in Washington river

    Otter attacks swimmers in Washington river

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:53:58 GMT
    MACHIAS, Wash. (AP) - A river otter attacked an 8-year-old boy and his grandmother as they were swimming in the Pilchuck River at a park in the Snohomish County town of Machias. The boy's mother, Tabitha Moser, told KING that she saw the 4-foot otter attack her son Thursday morning at Lake Connor Park. She says her mother saved him.>>
    MACHIAS, Wash. (AP) - A river otter attacked an 8-year-old boy and his grandmother as they were swimming in the Pilchuck River at a park in the Snohomish County town of Machias. The boy's mother, Tabitha Moser, told KING that she saw the 4-foot otter attack her son Thursday morning at Lake Connor Park. She says her mother saved him.
    >>
  • Flash-bang grenade injured E. Idaho boys

    Flash-bang grenade injured E. Idaho boys

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:47 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:47:07 GMT
    UPDATE: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Authorities in eastern Idaho say the object found by two 14-year-old boys in Rigby that exploded and severed one boy's hand was a type of flash-bang grenade not available to civilians and discontinued years ago.>>
    UPDATE: IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Authorities in eastern Idaho say the object found by two 14-year-old boys in Rigby that exploded and severed one boy's hand was a type of flash-bang grenade not available to civilians and discontinued years ago.>>