2006-04-26 / News

Celebrations business passes Planning Commission

Noise issue addressed, hours remain restricted
By Greg Pearson


Celebrations should continue to operate as a bed and breakfast and outdoor special events business, the Chesterfield Planning Commission said last week. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on May 24.

The major sticking point was the party sounds traveling across Swift Creek Reservoir. The 42-acre site borders the reservoir on Woolridge Road adjacent to Woodlake. The enterprise has been operating on a special use permit for three years.

Owner Jim Thacker voluntarily paid for a sound study and agreed not to exceed 50 decibels at seven neighboring sites around the reservoir.

Celebrations also purchased sound buffering to lessen the noise impact. The commission is recommending musical entertainment end at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays.

While most speakers at the public hearing thanked Thacker for being accommodating to his neighbors, many wanted to restrict his operation with fewer events, shorter hours and fewer attendees to the mostly weddings, receptions and business outings. The commission recommended a maximum attendance of 250 persons and another review of his special use permit in three years.

Neighbors expressed appreciation that Thacker wasn't seeking a rezoning of his 120 acres for its intended residential purpose that could adversely affect the reservoir and crowd more traffic onto an already busy Woolridge Road.

The case attracted considerable media attention as neighbors tried to protect their property values and lifestyle while restricting Celebrations.

"I don't know why you've put yourself through this," Dale Commissioner Sherman Litton told Thacker prior to the commission vote.

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