Wedding bell blues
We’re pleased to learn that the owner of Amy’s Courtyard near Palisade is now working with Mesa County officials to comply with county regulations regarding the hosting of large events on private property in an agricultural zone. However, if he had done so three years ago, John Barbier may not be in the predicament he now is with his property.
Mesa County code-enforcement officers have issued a cease-and-desist order for Amy’s Courtyard, after learning that the property on G Road about two miles west of Palisade had been hosting weddings and other events without the necessary permits.
County officials have received complaints from neighbors about the events such as weddings hosted at the property for the past three years, documents on file with the county show. This despite the fact that in 2007, Barbier told a code-enforcement officer he was hosting only parties for family and friends and said he understood he would need permits and licenses to do more than that.
For most people, wedding gatherings held on weekends are not as annoying as, say, a lumber sawing operation or junkyard operating illegally in the neighborhood. The county has halted both of the latter types of operations for failing to meet code requirements, and halting an operation that hosts weddings and other events without proper permits is just as valid.
The point is not that Mesa County authorities should be nit-picking enforcers of every comma in the development code. Rather, it is that residents have a right to be heard on new operations in their neighborhood, to seek modifications to accommodate their concerns and to make sure those operations abide by the same rules as everyone else.