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Proposed Mason City Wedding Venue Denied Special Use Permit

April 30, 2019 10:41 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- After hearing concerns from numerous neighbors of a proposed rustic wedding barn venue north of Mason City, the Cerro Gordo County Board of Adjustment Tuesday denied the project a special use permit, putting the project's future into question.

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Deidra and Rich Rattay had proposed building a 64-by-72-foot barn next to their home on 280th Street just north of the Mason City limits to host wedding parties of up to 250 people. The plan didn't sit well with neighbors, who raised concerns about the increased traffic and noise the facility would bring.

"I've seen these and they're beautiful but they're usually way out in the country, they're not next door neighbors," Robin Hart, who lives down the street from the Rattays, told the board.

Other neighbors took issue with the project's scale, saying it would drastically change the feel of their rural residential neighborhood.

"When I was talking with Rich the other day, he said, 'So you expect me to buy property somewhere else so that we can build this?' Yes I do. If you build this, do you expect me to buy property somewhere else so I can get what I already have?" neighbor Jim Bossard said.

The Rattays outlined a number of steps they planned to take to mitigate neighbors' concerns if the project went forward, including offering a shuttle service to reduce car trips on the gravel road and reduce the likelihood of guests drinking and driving. Their business plan also called for limiting the hours the venue would be open, planting trees to reduce noise and placing a limit on how much alcohol guests could bring.

Despite those parameters, the board decided the project was not the right fit for the area.

It's a tough blow for Deidra, who told the board she had dreamed of being in the wedding business "for as long as I can remember."

"I want to bring revenue to Mason City," she said. "Not just for myself, but for all of the other businesses that would be impacted because of my business."

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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