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Hall planning board members narrowly deny commercial zoning request

POSTED: May 7, 2013 12:15 a.m.

Hall County commissioners will determine the ability of LL Farms to use its barn for special events after Hall County Planning Commission members narrowly denied the commercial zoning request.

David and Michelle Gibbs had been using their barn on Ransom Freedom Road in Clermont to host events, including weddings, proms and fundraisers without a business license for about six months until it drew the attention of county officials.

However, the neighbors have had a problem with what they say is excessive noise, trash and traffic, and they let the commission know at its Monday night meeting. They also alleged the Gibbses were having concerts there.

“Having a band where a band is so loud where it bothers the neighbors is not a small wedding,” said attorney Steve Gilliam, who represented several neighbors.

Michelle Gibbs denied that there was any issue with noise or trash. She has two Hall County law enforcement officers to oversee the events.

The Gibbses continued to have events, although they were told that they were operating illegally.

Commissioner Chris Braswell said the owners were trying to make the situation right.

“In reading the staff recommendations, they brought up several points that I agreed with,” Braswell said. “I don’t believe they were having concerts there. I do believe they were just having weddings there and with weddings you have music.”

The vote was 3-2, with Commissioners Braswell and Bo Brooks voting yes, and Craig Heighton, Don Smallwood and Johnny Varner voting no.

“I understand some of the people’s concerns,” Michelle Gibbs said. “I felt like they’re ganging up on me. No one has come (and) said anything to me.”

Hall County staff approved the request with several conditions, including no more than 300 people at any event, events ending at 11 p.m. and no-spill outdoor lighting.

“It’s a tough sell,” Heighton said.

The Gibbses declined to comment after the meeting. The Hall County Board of Commissioners will consider the request at its May 22 meeting.


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