Rule change would allow barn weddings

Not requiring paving actually paves the way for business to expand and hold special events
Ozaukee Press staff

The Village of Belgium Plan Commission unanimously recommended amending an ordinance to not require surfacing on parking and driveways in the agricultural district.

A public hearing on the amendment will be held before the May 14 Village Board meeting. The board could act on the issue that night.

The move would allow Buechler Farms to move forward with its plan to hold events such as barn weddings and rodeos.

The commission reviewed the ordinance amendment in February and March.

Buechler Farms co-owner Brian Buechler at the March meeting said paving the driveway and parking lot would cost more than he paid for the entire property.

Trustee Clem Gottsacker asked if a small section could be paved for handicapped parking.

“I would go along with that,” Buechler said.

The commission voiced concern over not knowing if a high volume of traffic would drag gravel out to Highway D. It considered requiring paving that portion, but Village President Vickie Boehnlein said the commission will see how it goes first.

Plan Commission member Don Gotcher in February said if Buechler Farms receives an exception to the ordinance, then the village would have to grant it to everyone else.
Boehnlein eased his concern.

“They’re the only A-1 property in the Village of Belgium, so unless we add other agricultural districts, we will never have this come up again,” she said.

“If we don’t make this change, they won’t be able to do this. We’re taking away the option to have these types of events in the village. There’s no way they can spend $200,000.”
Boehnlein compared the situation to Cedarburg holding the Ozaukee County Fair in the middle of the city.

“For this type of event I think it’s reasonable to have a different set of rules,” she said.

The Village Board in February approved a conditional use permit for Buechler Farms to hold barn weddings. The permit allows 40 events per year and caps attendance at 225 per event.

In October, the board approved amending an ordinance to allow barn weddings, receptions and corporate barn parties in its agricultural district. Buechler Farms had applied for the change. The Plan Commission had recommended the amendment.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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