A developer is withdrawing plans for a wedding venue in North Hall County after neighbors got cold feet.
“I’m not going to fight the system I guess,” said William Norris, the owner of the house Monday, July 11. “The house is a perfect wedding venue for having weddings, and they just said no. I’m just going to throw the towel in.”
Norris planned to convert a $2.8 million Lake Lanier home into an event center and potential film site, but is withdrawing his plans before the Hall County Board of Commissioners has a chance to vote on Thursday, July 14.
The plan was met with resounding opposition at a Hall County Planning Commission meeting June 6 both from nearby residents and Chairman Chris Braswell. Neighbors were concerned about noise and safety, saying that it would change the character of their area to have loud parties at the house at 4726 Shirley Road. Residents even set up a change.org petition to stop the application.
The planning commission unanimously recommended the application for denial after hearing seven neighbors speak against the plan.
Shirley Road is a scenic, mostly residential road, off of Mount Vernon Road that dead-ends at Lake Lanier. The plan required approval for a special use permit and rezoning from vacation cottage to agricultural-residential use.
Norris bought what he dubbed “Bellissimo Castle Venue” for $2.8 million in October 2021 and had planned to use the home as both a wedding venue and possible film location, according to planning documents. Norris had interest from several couples through sites like WeddingWire and The Knot about planning weddings there, he said. He had done some work on the house recently, he said, adding water features including 200 feet of waterfalls across seven features.
“I’m good, I’m just going to stay with the short-term rentals and that’s it,” Norris said.