Letter to the Editor: Wedding Venue?

I found it interesting that on page 5 of the Jan. 12-19 edition there is an article stating that Sevastopol residents were concerned that the proposed winery might be used as a wedding venue. Even though the developer claimed not to want to do that, the board eliminated a condition that may have allowed for weddings just 10 times a year.

Now flip just one page and find an article about the wedding venue proposed for Sister Bay. This one isn’t on land zoned for agriculture. It is in a residential neighborhood. Residents brought up concerns about lighting, property values, traffic and noise. The developers did a good job addressing the lighting concerns, but for traffic and noise they promised to do what they could. The conditional use permit granted didn’t address the concerns about the traffic, and the restrictions on noise don’t seem any more restrictive than the village code already in place. On the question of property values they said there was no way to prove any effect at this point. I guess common sense doesn’t count, but “we’ll try” does.

The board didn’t rezone the property, but changed what kind of development could be built on just the four lots that comprise the property.

The initial presentation of the proposal was made on Dec. 12, less than three weeks after a law was passed that then-Village Administrator Zeke Jackson cited as a reason the village had to accept it. Zeke’s last day was Dec. 12, but he was at the Jan. 4 meeting, pushing the venue and proposing only restrictions that the developer agreed to.

I would think that after the complaints and a lawsuit about noise from the band-shell just last year, the village would be more careful. From initial proposal to granting the permit was rushed (without a study on the noise or traffic) in just three weeks and two days, with two major holidays in that time.

My property abuts the project. Every neighbor I have talked to has many questions about this. The general feeling is that the project is lovely. It is just in the wrong spot. It is not a case of “Not in my back yard.” It doesn’t belong in anybody’s backyard. Web search “Wedding venue neighbors.” The venues produce plenty of conflict, and I found only one in a residential area.


Vivian Nienow

Sister Bay, Wis.

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