FAIRFIELD — Proponents and opponents of Glashoff Farms holding weddings and other special events talked late into Thursday night before the Solano County Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission had yet to make a decision by 10:30 p.m. on allowing Glashoff Farms to keep its special events permit, with about 60 people attending the hearing. Whatever it decides may not be the final word. Its decision can be appealed to the county Board of Supervisors.
Larry and Maria Glashoff own a farm at 5353 Williams Road in rural Suisun Valley that grows berries, prunes, walnuts, oranges and other crops. The county zoning administrator in May issued a permit allowing them to hold special events under certain conditions.
Some neighbors oppose the permit. They said events cause too much traffic and noise in a rural area that is off the beaten track for tourism. They said Williams Road is narrow and has a blind curve.
Among the issues coming up at the hearing was Solano County’s stated goals since 2008 to promote agritourism in Suisun Valley and whether agritourism includes evening weddings on farms. Attorneys from both sides discussed the issue.
County staff on Thursday made their latest recommendation to allow the permit. The Glashoffs could host 12 events annually from May through October. Two events could have 160 to 200 guests, three events 120 to 159 guests, three events 75 to 119 guests and four events 74 or fewer guests.
Amplified sound would be turned off by 10 p.m. on weekends and days before certain holidays and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays. Four events would have no amplified sound.
Williams Road is off of Suisun Valley Road near the Napa County line. Twenty-one homes have access off of it.
Larry Glashoff said the economic activity generated by the events allows him to reinvest in his farm. The activity is good for the entire valley, he said. He stressed the county policies promoting agritourism.
“If I hold an event with 200 people, I bring 200 potential customers to Suisun Valley,” Glashoff said.
Williams Road resident Chris Estes said the noise his family has experienced from the events has been extremely loud, with it coming from the music and especially the public address system.
“Basically, it needs to be fewer, smaller and quieter,” Estes said.
Suisun Valley farmer and Gordon Valley resident Linda Tenbrink supported the Glashoff events. She said this case would be a test of the county’s agritourism policies.
“I want to look at the big picture, also,” Tenbrink said. “Suisun Valley will not continue to exist as any kind of farming without that tourism.”
Warren Sheldon shares a property line with the Glashoffs. The so-called music from the events has rattled his windows and made listening to the television out of the question, he said.
“The geographical location of that valley creates a natural amphitheater,” Williams Road resident Bruce Dorrough said.
Williams Road resident Mike Jones supported the Glashoffs, saying he can hear noise, but not to the point of it being intrusive or disruptive.
Planning Commissioner Rick Tubbs had some advice for those at the meeting.
“I’m telling you from experience that neighbor problems get ugly,” he said. “They get bitter . . . I really want to encourage you all to come to a compromise.”
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.