Mesa County orders Palisade wedding venue to shut down

Mesa County has ordered a Palisade-area business to shut down after learning its owner apparently has been illegally hosting weddings and other events.

County code-enforcement officials this month issued a cease-and-desist order and a request for voluntary compliance to John Barbier, owner of Amy’s Courtyard, 3575 G Road, because Barbier hasn’t obtained the necessary permits from the county.

Documents on file with the county Department of Planning and Economic Development show the county has been receiving complaints from neighbors for three years about weddings and parties at Amy’s Courtyard. At one point, in July 2008, a neighbor told county code-enforcement officers that Amy’s Courtyard had hosted weddings eight weekends in a row, documents show.

In September 2007, Barbier told a code-enforcement officer that he was only hosting parties for family and friends and that he realized he would need permits and licenses to host other gatherings, documents show.

But the website for Amy’s Courtyard advertises the venue as a “charming and hospitable” place for weddings, private parties and other events and notes that it specializes in catered events.

“Amy’s Courtyard can comfortably accommodate 200 guests. Please contact us to inquire about specific seating arrangements and to discuss your upcoming event!” the website says.

Amy’s Courtyard is located within the county’s agricultural forestry transitional zone district. The county’s land-development code requires property owners within that zone district to obtain a conditional-use permit in order to host entertainment events.

“As of this date, Mesa County records indicate that no applications, permits or approvals have been submitted or obtained for the event center or the Winery and yet the same type of activities and events are reportedly still taking place on your property as of this date,” senior code-enforcement officer Tony Piotrowski wrote in an Oct. 11 letter to Barbier.

Reached by phone Monday, Barbier said he plans to obtain the proper permitting and said he’s not hosting weddings anymore.

“It was kind of complicated,” he said without elaborating, referring to the chain of events that led up to the county’s cease-and-desist order.

Donna Ross, development services and code enforcement director for the county, said Monday that Barbier and county planners are attempting to schedule a pre-application conference to discuss Barbier’s plans for the property, the types of land uses that are allowed and the permits that are required.

“He (Barbier) indicated he wanted to comply with our regulations,” Ross said.


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