RICHMOND — Wedding bells will chime from time to time at the 163-year-old Ice House Hill Farm, now that the Select Board has given final approval for seasonal nuptials at the scenic site.
The two-year special permit calls for no more than four events this year, and sets a 9:30 p.m. conclusion for music (DJ only, not live) and a 10 p.m. “hard stop” for a celebration on Friday and Saturday nights, and 7 p.m. Sundays.
The permit will be reviewed by the board in September and in September 2022 in case any changes are needed involving traffic conditions or other issues based on this summer’s events at the East Road site.
The application from farm managers, the subject of lively discussion at a previous meeting, was greenlighted at a recent session, after Select Board Chairman Alan Hanson stated that “we should simply go ahead with it; we’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s.”
The applicants, live-in farm caretakers Jessy and Bryant Turner, would be obligated to have a private officer direct traffic exiting to the right onto East Road to Lenox Road after events conclude, board members agreed.
In a series of 3-0 votes, the Select Board approved the special permit and its provisions, specifically finding that:
• “It complies with all provisions and requirements of the bylaw and is in harmony with its general intent and purpose and in harmony with the neighborhood”;
• The project is “desirable to the public good or convenience at the proposed location”;
• “It will not be detrimental to adjacent uses or to the established or future character of the neighborhood”;
• “It will not create undue traffic congestion or unduly impair pedestrian safety”;
• “It will not overload any public water, drainage or sewage system or any other municipal facility to such an extent that the proposed use or any existing use in the immediate area or any other area of the town will be unduly subjected to the hazards affecting public health, safety or general welfare.”
The final permit, signed by the board members, will be printed and made public.
“I hope that the applicants are able to put together some weddings for nice people who want to use their facility,” Selectman Neal Pilson said.
In other action:
• The Select Board unanimously voted to add language to the annual town election ballot excluding the debt for a new town center from the provisions of Proposition 2½, if the project is approved by two-thirds or more of annual town meeting voters.
• The board formally closed the annual town meeting warrant. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. May 19 in the Richmond Consolidated School. The annual election is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 at Town Hall. Voting-by-mail instructions are available on the town website, with a deadline of May 14.
• The board agreed to resume in-person meetings at Town Hall as of May 12, while a Zoom link will continue to be provided for residents participating remotely.
The board also paid tribute to the town’s first town administrator, Bruce Garlow, who died April 23, at 72. He served from 1988 to 2009.
“He was a gentleman and a very fine person,” Selectman Roger Manzolini said. “Most every townsperson was extremely fond of Bruce. He’ll be deeply missed.”