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March 27, 2013 - Atlas Twp.-The township board of trustees voted 4-1 during the March 18 meeting to approve a conditional rezoning for a barn structure at 8350 Perry Road.

Rick Misek, township planning commission director, said the next step will be a site plan and conditional use permit.

"The barn is on about 15 acres and approximately 100-years-old," said Misek. "There is no sewer district or water hook-up—the property has been for sale for 15 years and incorporates a burned down home."

The old farm which includes wetlands, seasonal ponds and tillable land was purchased by township resident Patrick Ward for the purpose of hosting weddings and meetings in the barn. The board approved a change from residential suburban sgricultural rezoned to commercial general on conditions.

"Not every use under C-2," said Misek. "The key is for weddings and similar social events conducted between May and October and all wrapped up at midnight. One of the commission concerns are when there are receptions at the barn and Atlas Valley Country Club—the traffic and congestion in the area. In addition, there's no amplified music—a string quartet would work, but we are trying to keep the sound isolated to the satisfaction of the neighbors."

Township trustee and planning commission member Patrick Major supported the decision.

"If left alone the structure will fall down," he said. "It would be a nice addition to the community. There are two homes near the barn and the noise issue was discussed."

Township Clerk Tere Onica voted no.

"I'm concerned due to the noise issue," said Onica. "I don't know if I'd like to live next door to the parties."

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