Zoning Board Approves Special Event Property Exception

SNOW HILL – A county board once again granted a Flower Street property permission to host weddings and special events.

The Worcester County Board of Zoning Appeals last week approved a special exception that will allow Brooklyn Estate on Flower Street to host weddings and special events. Owner Patrick Brady said he’s worked to address any concerns from the neighbors.

“I’ve attempted to and will in the future continue to respect the neighbors and community that welcomed me nearly 10 years ago,” he said.

Brady approached the board seeking a special exception to allow weddings and special events on his two adjacent Flower Street properties, Brooklyn Estate and Cottage, in the agricultural district. He said that after hearing concerns from some neighbors the last time he sought an exception, he’d worked to address any potential problems. He requires events to cease at 10 p.m. and has off street parking for attendees.

“I have experience in organizing and running these special events in the past and I believe I have addressed all of the concerns people in the neighborhood had regarding noise, parking and trash cans,” he said.

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Brady added that he felt his property was ideal for this use because it was between a growth area and one of the county’s transfer stations. He said it wouldn’t have any detrimental impact on traffic or the health and safety of local residents.

“If anything it’ll have a positive economic impact on the surrounding properties,” he said.

David Gaskill, the board’s attorney, pointed out the board had approved Brady’s initial request for special events last year.

“The board granted this special exception last year so absent any significant change in circumstances, you’re really legally required to grant it again,” he said.

Brady said he was also hoping the board would take into account that though he had the special exception last year, he wasn’t able to hold events because of the pandemic. Zoning Administrator Kristen Tremblay said that while properties were only allowed to seek special exceptions for two years, she would look into the feasibility of an extension related to the pandemic.

“I think it would be prudent to just do it for the one year now and then we can do some research and have him come back at a later time,” she said.

Mary Road resident Gabe Purnell, who objected to the special exception the last time it was granted, said he was still opposed. He believes it’s setting a precedent and could create issues within the historic neighborhood.

“It will cause traffic problems and other problems we don’t even foresee…,” he said. “It’s opening a can of worms we’re really not ready for.”

The board voted 3-1, with member James Purnell opposed, to approve the special exception request.

Following Brady’s request, the board also approved a special exception to allow the stock and storage of firearms related to a home occupation for property on Whaleyville Road owned by James, Eleanor and Kevin Kosienski.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.