Erskine also said the Walkers had not provided adequate answers to a long list of questions he'd posed, such as how noise and light from late weddings would impact the neighbors and how many tents they would erect during events.

Adams repeatedly noted that most events will not come close to the limit of 150 guests.

The board, in its deliberations, largely sided with Adams and the Walkers, downplaying the impact of venue lights, saying the county's existing noise ordinances are enough to control noise and rebuffing Erskine's assertion that the Walkers' plans amounted to development of their farm.

"Nice try, Mr. Erskine, but I guess we didn't buy it," Walsh said after he and the other board members agreed the plans did not constitute development.


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The Walkers have repeatedly said that revenue from the new operations will be put toward restoring and preserving the farm.

After the hearing, Willson said she and other neighbors would have to discuss appealing the decision to the court with Erskine.

Regardless of what happens, she said her mind is set on the Walkers' plans.

"It's going to destroy our property values. It's going to destroy our way of life," Willson said.

Court challenge or not, Maxine Walker said she likely won't start hosting events for at least a few months, after she's created the Web site and lined up party groups.

Even then, things will start slowly, she said.

"We don't expect to get 25 events. It's going to take a while to build the business," she said. "If we started with three or four a year or so, we'd be very pleased."