County Commission Changes Mind On Wedding Venue That Is Too Close To Neighbor

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The County Commission on Wednesday, after a lengthy pow wow, changed its mind on a wedding venue at McDonald, Tn., that it had approved in September. The barn is just seven feet from the property line at one point.

Commissioners noted that the county Variance Board had denied a variance for The Barn at Beechtree Farm because it does not meet the setback requirements.

The vote was 5-2 in favor earlier. This time, it was 7-2 against, with only Chester Bankston and Randy Fairbanks in support.

Debbie Stafford said the barn wedding venture began after their daughter got married there in 2017 and interest began to rise about holding other weddings there. She said there were 16 weddings there this year.

There was discussion about whether the earlier approval covered just the barn or the entire property. Ms. Stafford said she would not try to have it anywhere else on the property if it could not be in the barn.

She said she and her late husband, Tim, had been long-time friends of the Binns family and share the same driveway. But she said the neighbors began complaining and "harassing" them when the wedding business started. She said they tried to make concessions, including building a large fence that extended down the driveway and cutting back the hours when music would end.

Ms. Stafford said her husband had a stroke and was told he had Stage IV brain cancer. She said he died in August. Ms. Stafford said she believes the stress of the fight with the neighbors worsened his health. She said the neighbors were harassing them a week before he died.

Ms. Stafford told the commissioners, "I am not going to use it (property) as a business any longer." However, she said three friends want to hold weddings there and she will not charge them.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor at first said public gatherings would be a violation of the zoning ordinance since it did not gain the commercial classification. However, county building inspector Ronnie Blaylock said his office would not file a violation unless some business activity is going on.

Officials noted that the barn was initially designated as just a pole barn (usually as an animal pen). 

Commissioner Greg Martin told Ms. Stafford, "I am sorry for your loss. I am also sorry for the loss of a friendship. That's bad - especially if you have to live next to each other."


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Matthew Mielke, 26, Dies In Pickup Truck Crash In Cleveland

Residents Escape Duplex Fire On E. 4th Street. Investigation Underway


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AMBOTIS, THOMAS AARON HOMELESS SODDY DAISY, 37379 Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR ... (click for more)

A 26-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash in Cleveland early Friday morning. Cleveland Police said Matthew Mielke was traveling east on Blythe Ferry Road when he lost control of his ... (click for more)

Neighbors helped each other get out of a burning duplex in the Highland Park area Friday night. It happened just before 7:30 p.m. in the 1800 block of E. 4th Street. Fire officials ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AMBOTIS, THOMAS AARON HOMELESS SODDY DAISY, 37379 Age at Arrest: 28 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- ANDERSON, CHRISTOPHER ALLEN 4924 BAL HARBOR CIR CHATTANOOGA, 37416 Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION ( DOMESTIC ASSAULT ) --- ... (click for more)

Matthew Mielke, 26, Dies In Pickup Truck Crash In Cleveland

A 26-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash in Cleveland early Friday morning. Cleveland Police said Matthew Mielke was traveling east on Blythe Ferry Road when he lost control of his black Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. The vehicle slid down an embankment and crashed into a tree in the incident around 2 a.m. It happened near the intersection of Stephens Road. ... (click for more)

Opinion

A Better Plan Is Needed For Quarry Golf Course At Mountain Creek

With regard to the ongoing saga of the old Quarry golf course and its proposed development, I reject the proposed plan endorsed by the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy (Chattanoogan - Breaking News 11/30/2019) and believe a better outcome can be achieved. There is a middle ground that involves all R-1 construction including preserving the tree, greenspace, streams and ponds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Hot dog for every December and here we go! We at The Saturday Funnies relish in each December because it is during this time many of the best stories are borne. From Thanksgiving to Christmas each year is a “busy street” and over these holidays, which we dutifully celebrate because of a very real and ever-revealing Christ-child, and not just from the teacher’s advancement, we will ... (click for more)

Sports

Vols' Nigel Warrior Named PFF All-American Honorable Mention

Tennessee senior defensive back Nigel Warrior was named a PFF College All-America Honorable Mention earlier this week. The Georgia native has been the leader of the Vols' secondary this year and has been one of the major reasons for UT's impressive turnaround on defense during the second half of the season. Warrior is tied for the SEC lead with four interceptions (14th ... (click for more)

UTC's Tiano Named SoCon Offensive Player Of The Month

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior quarterback Nick Tiano is the Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Month for November, the league office announced today. He is the first Moc to earn monthly recognition from the SoCon since Derrick Craine in October of 2015. Tiano helped the Mocs to a 2-2 mark in November, wrapping up a 6-6 campaign and a third place showing ... (click for more)