The question has been raised "how many tractors are stored in the Brewer's barn?' How many tractors does it take to grow flowers, chestnut trees, or manage bee hives to produce honey? I would think you could accomplish all of that withour the use of a tractor. And how many executives who manage the many "corporate farms" live on those farms. Let's be realistic and allow the entreprenurial spirit raised by this young couple to florish and not be sandbagged. Incidentally, doubful that you will find a tractor anywhere near a "fish" farm.
WakeUP Wake County spoke at the public hearing in support of raising the development fees because with rapid growth, there is a cost of doing business. Developers should cover the costs to the city in order to keep the burden off taxpayers.
So many questions come to mind after reading this article. In the photo attached to the article, the Brewers are shown watering their "orchard" with water they brought to the property. Why? Because after owning the property for two years and planting 36 chestnut trees and a small flower bed, they apparently have not yet put in a well on their property. That's right, a farm with no water for irrigating their crops. If they're primarily a farm and the wedding events are incidental to farm use, why is building the barn and booking the weddings taking priority over digging a well? Second, Chris Brewer of Southeast Property Group is quoted as saying " We could have built a barn with four poles and a roof but if we make it a little bit nicer...we can also do weddings as well." Apparently building a $735,000 barn on a quarter-million dollar property with a lighting budget of $78,000 for the chandeliers alone is what he means by a "little nicer." It just doesn't ring true that a real farmer who wants to hold weddings in their barn to supplement their farm income would spend $735,000 on building a 4200 square foot barn (including $78,000 to spend on chandeliers) the sole farming purpose of which is "to process flowers and chestnuts in the late fall." Sounds to me like "alternative facts" from the Brewers. Finally, I'm perplexed by David Owens opining that the weddings are "pretty clearly incidental" to the flower farm. The evidence that I heard presented at the October Board of Adjustment hearings (read the minutes here: http://preserveruralorange.org/uploads/BOA…) doesn't make that clear at all, and as the article says the BOA seems to doubt that the Barn of Chapel Hill is anything other than an events center. The Orange County Planning Department believes their hands are tied because the Brewers have a USDA farm number and are thus considered a bona fide farm and exempt from zoning regulations that apply to commercial endeavors. (Why they were able to obtain a farm number for 22 acres of wooded property that they had never farmed is unclear.) But if nonfarm uses on a farm property ARE NOT exempt from county zoning rules, then common sense tells us that this $735,000 event center disguised as a utility barn on a property with farming activity that is clearly secondary should not be exempt.
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