Couple withdraws proposal for wedding venue in Williamsburg
WILLIAMSBURG — After neighbors objected to plans for their 16 Walpole Road property, Susan Fortgang and David Nehring have scrapped a proposal to open a wedding venue there.
“We would like to withdraw the part of the application that applies to the wedding venue,” Fortgang told the Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday night. “Now, we are only requesting a permit to operate a seasonal farm stand and farm store.”
On June 17, Fortgang told the ZBA that the couple wanted to operate a farm stand that would sell maple syrup, honey, baked goods, fruits and vegetables on their 100-acre farm. The application also included developing an outdoor space suitable for weddings and events that would accommodate 100 to 150 people.
Neighbors at the June meeting said they had no problem with a farm stand but argued that a wedding facility would disrupt the neighborhood, causing significant problems with traffic flow, parking, noise and lighting.
By withdrawing the proposed wedding component, many of those concerns are now resolved.
On Tuesday, Fortgang said that plans for the farm stand remained the same. Rather than one fixed structure on the property from which items can be bought, customers will be able to visit different sections of the farm based on the growing season.
“For example, we will have a pick your own pumpkins in the fall and we will be selling maple syrup out of our sugar house during the season,” Fortgang said. “I have two unpaved areas designated for parking.”
Fortgang’s attorney, Edward Etheredge of Northampton, told the board that Fortgang and Nehring will only have lighting necessary for safety and that lighting will be shielded.
“They do not intend to operate after daylight hours,” Etheredge said.
Tuesday’s meeting was the last opportunity for public comment. The ZBA will now review the new proposal and reconvene July 30 to decide on the request for a permit. The meeting will take place at the Town Office at 141 Main St.