BZA approves wedding barn application


After a board of zoning appeals meeting Tuesday night, Jackson County is gaining its first wedding barn.

Christina McMurray applied for a special exception to construct a wedding barn in a forest and recreational zoning district. Her application was approved with a 3-1 vote from the board, including one board member abstaining from the vote.

McMurray said she plans on calling the venue Heartland and is “relieved” the application was approved.

“It was a great Christmas present to me,” she said. “I don’t need any gifts underneath my tree. That decision and that positive vote was everything that I needed.”

The venue will be located at 2690 W. State Road 58, Seymour.

As for what the next step is in constructing the venue, she said she is going to work with her architect, send paperwork to the state and make sure the wedding barn adheres to building requirements.

McMurray hopes to start constructing the venue by the end of January or into February. She said her highest hope is to have weddings next summer.

The decision on the application was tabled last month after a motion to deny the application didn’t pass. A motion was then approved to table the decision to give board members time to physically look at the property themselves.

At last month’s meeting, McMurray said noise was the largest complaint about her application. Other issues included increased traffic and how the venue will look against the scenery of the location.

During discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, board member Donald Cummings said 11 landowners around McMurray’s property had signed a petition against the application.

“We need to do our due diligence as a board to think about the impact of the neighbors,” Cummings said.

When it came time to vote, Cummings abstained.

Board member Travis Norman voted against the application and said his vote was based upon the petition against McMurray’s application.

Sherry Bridges, chairwoman of the board, spoke in favor of McMurray’s request and said the application followed county ordinance and the board should focus on that when making a decision on the venue.

“I believe that this board does an exceptional job at following ordinances and making decisions for future growth, safety and well-being for Jackson County,” she said.

Neighbors of McMurray’s property have 30 days to appeal her approved application.

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