Special meeting before the Kent Zoning Board

Special meeting before the Kent Zoning Board

In a Special meeting before the Kent Zoning Board, (pzSpecialMeetingMay29-2014), Zoning expert and consultant Glen Chalder from Planimetrics explained to the Commission that Weddings held on private properties are Accessory Uses and NOT Special Events for the purposes of zoning regulations.

Glen Chalder was hired by the commission to help rewrite the Regulations. Oddly, taxpayers are footing the bill for his advice, and simultaneously paying for legal fees to uphold a ban on weddings and similar family gatherings on privately owned rental properties in the rural zone.

In another contortion, the Commission allows homes and properties to be rented for weddings in some rural zones, but not others, and also allows Bed and Breakfasts to host weddings, but not lodging houses, or farms, though there is nothing in the Regulations banning weddings or similar family gatherings anywhere in Kent, and there are no ‘special permits or other permits required for the hosting of weddings.

Some property owners are accusing Land Use Administrator and Zoning Enforcement Officer, Donna Hayes, ¬†of “selective enforcement of non-existent rules.”

We are too!

How can some properties be allowed to have weddings without the need for any permitting at all, while other properties are banned from the same use, even on the same street and in the same zone, in the absence of any Regulations pertaining to such uses?

Farm weddings and other family based gatherings are allowed virtually everywhere in this country. Kent is a rural town with a rural heritage. Why should the town ban weddings on farms in Kent?

Isn’t that a perfect re-purposing of these historic properties?