County Commissioners Face Tough Decision After Passionate Hearin - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

County Commissioners Face Tough Decision After Passionate Hearing On Green Bluff Weddings

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KHQ.COM - The County Commissioners held a lengthy and at times contentious hearing last night about whether or not weddings should be permitted at Green Bluff.

They did not yet come to a concrete decision, but last night they heard from close to 20 farmers and Green Bluff residents who argued both for and against allowing weddings on the Green Bluff farms.

Craig Deitz, who runs a farm and microbrewery on Green Bluff, thinks Green Bluff farms will only survive if they can host weddings and events at their properties.

"I want to encourage County Commissioners to allow rural business to thrive and this includes hosting events inclusive of weddings, family reunions, and graduations," he said.

Another farm owner, JoAnne Smatlan, said hosting weddings, especially during the off-season, helps bring more people to Green Bluff that otherwise would not visit.

She also said she is very willing to compromise. At her farm, weddings end well before 9pm, do not have live bands, and do not serve alcohol.

Other residents, regardless of compromises, feel that by allowing more events to take place at Green Bluff will cause too much traffic, noise, and take away from its classic country ambiance.

"The proposed event center zoning is immoral because it creates so much harm," said one resident. "It creates so much harm because it is loud, intrusive, and doesn't operate during normal business hours."

Another Green Bluff farmer said he did not want an entire area to be subject to hardship so that a few residents could conduct commercial business.

The County Commissioners now have to decide whether to allow farms and orchards to host weddings, not host weddings, or a happy medium somewhere in between

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