Wedding venue

Stock photo.

The Louisa County Planning Commission recommended against rezoning a Lake Anna property to allow a wedding venue and bed and breakfast facility.

Aeyon Norby, who owns a nine-acre parcel on Lake Anna on Kentucky Springs Road and Elk Creek, asked the commission at the June 13 meeting to support rezoning part of her property from residential to agricultural use so she can host weddings. She sought permission for as many as 300 guests per event.

Technically, Norby is applying to have a special occasion facility, which includes other events besides weddings. Her attorney, Torrey Williams, said the intent is to host weddings.

“It seems like a really good facility that doesn’t do anything except have people come to our county and spend money and then go home,” Gary Griffith, a Lake Anna developer who is working with Norby, said. 

Several members of Elk Creek Baptist Church, located next door, spoke against the rezoning, warning it will create a traffic and noise hazard. The church conducts outdoor services on Sunday mornings on the opposite side of Kentucky Springs Road during the warmer months.

“Our biggest concern is the possible disruption that may affect our lakefront services, and possibly our services at the church, depending on what type of activities the applicants rent their facility for,” Larry Edmonds, a nearby resident and church representative, said.

“I have great concerns about [the facility] being in a community that already exists, and with a church across the street,” Commissioner Greg Jones (Louisa district) said.

Commissioner George Goodwin (Cuckoo district) proposed restricting activities at the wedding venue on Sunday mornings between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and making sure church officials know about planned events. He also suggested capping the number of event guests at 100.

County community development staff pointed out the lack of agriculturally-zoned land within about one mile of the property, though they did not recommend denial for that reason.

Commissioners wondered whether Dominion Energy would allow the business, since it doesn’t normally allow commercial uses on the Waste Heat Treatment Facility, or warm side of the lake. Peery Agee, a Dominion agent, said at the meeting he was not prepared to comment. 

“Everybody on the private side of the lake had the understanding no commercial establishments would be allowed,” Edmonds said. 

 Williams said his client would erect a fence to prevent wedding guests from going onto Dominion’s property at the water’s edge.

“That is to make it abundantly clear that it’s not accessible,” he said.

“If we have trespassers onto Dominion property, it’s a pot waiting to boil over,” Goodwin said.

The commission voted 5-1 to recommend denial to the board of supervisors. Commissioner John Disosway (Mineral district) recused himself from discussion, since he is a Dominion Energy employee.