Online photos of the Rustic Barn at Pleasantly Devine Stables show a thriving event and wedding venue in Orange County’s rural, country setting.
The Montgomery business is on popular wedding websites like TheKnot and Wedding Wire as the “newest wedding venue to open its doors” in the heart of the Hudson Valley.
But behind the scenes, people who live on the same road as the farm-turned-catering hall on Maple Avenue say they don’t want the business in their backyard, and that owners are operating without the proper permits.
“This was always a quiet, country road, and now on the weekends there’s just loads of cars driving up and down the road,” says Bill Walsh.
Walsh is among a group of neighbors who gave News 12 video of what they say is a bus carrying wedding guests that nearly ran two of them off the road while walking their dog.
The business owner, William Devine, was issued four violations in August for allegedly operating without a site plan, a certificate of occupancy or building permit and for violating Montgomery’s zoning code.
Town Supervisor Brian Maher says Devine has since cleared the violations and filed a zoning appeal to operate under an agricultural exemption – like another wedding venue nearby.
Devine says his property is a quarter-mile away from nearby homes and is on a road with 13 other registered businesses.
Maher says the town is trying to find a way to better support local businesses, like the wedding venue, but longtime neighbors say it’s not what they signed up for.
“People are already starting to sell their houses,” said Liz Walsh. “Thirty-eight years, a neighbor up the road sold his house because he’s close to the traffic, close to the noise. You can hear it all night long.”
Neighbors tell News 12 there’s a local law prohibiting commercial traffic on their road, but the town supervisor says they’re considering an exemption for the business to operate.
Town officials say The Rustic Barn at Pleasantly Devine Stables still has an open violation, but that the legal process is on hold while the zoning board of appeals reviews the case.
A decision is expected to be made in October.