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Temporary re-zoning granted to allow Festival Players season at Eddie Hotel and Farm

Continued use of a portion of land and dedicated event space for  Festival Players of Prince Edward County events at the Eddie Hotel and Farm was granted by council at Wednesday’s planning committee meeting.

Prior, outdoor entertainment and cultural events were not permitted at the venue.

A temporary use application had been made by the Eddie owners, Michael Von Teichman and Alexander Portman, for a portion of their property located at 15786 Loyalist Parkway, Bloomfield (between Wellington and Bloomfield), currently zoned RU1-118-H (Special Rural 1)

No comments or questions came from staff, the applicant or the public at the meeting, nor was any discussion received by members of council on the proposed application.

The temporary use re-zoning will allow for small-scale outdoor entertainment events hosted by the Festival Players only on a limited basis throughout the summer, on the following dates only: Aug. 1-14 (6 day per week); Aug.23-Sept.4 (6 days per week); and Sept.26-30 (1 show per day). The performances are to take place between either 1:30-3.30pm for matinees, and 7-9pm for evening performances.

Formerly known as The Fields on West Lake, the Eddie property is currently used for agriculture, events within an existing barn, and accommodations.

“The former owners applied for Official Plan amendment and zoning bylaw amendment applications in 2008 to permit a number of uses, including event space, distillery, farm produce outlet, tourist inn and spa, amongst other uses,” stated planner James Griffin in his report to council.

While the applications were approved by council, the decision was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board who upheld council’s decision, contingent on five conditions, all of which have now been met and the applications approved.

“One of the conditions was that the entire property be re-zoned to the RU1-118-H zone (Special Rural 1 Exception 118),” explained Griffin. “This zoning permits a number of uses as of right, but only within existing buildings.”

The permitted uses within the buildings include entertainment and cultural events, but do not include outdoor entertainment and cultural events.

Griffin explained in his report that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival Players were looking for an outdoor venue to safely host performances.

“Unbeknownst to County staff, The Eddie offered their land to the Festival Players. During the summer of 2021, the Festival Players used the Eddie’s land for their performances,” noted Griffin.

“In the spring of 2022, it was brought to staff’s attention, through a bylaw complaint, that there were advertisements for outdoor events for the Festival Players,” stated the report.

“Staff wrote a zoning compliance letter to the Eddie to cease any outdoor events as they are not permitted in the Special Rural 1 (RU1-118- H) zone.”

The Eddie owners, Von Teichman and Portman, noted in a written submission that Festival Players are looking for a location for a new permanent home for the company.

“While this process is underway, and because of COVID restrictions in the summer of 2021, we offered to Festival Players to re-purpose an existing structure on the property,” stated Von Teichman and Portman. “A temporary timber stage and back-drop were added, and specifically-designed to limit the noise transfer to neighbouring properties.“

They noted the outdoor pavilion successfully operated in the summer of 2021, without complaints from neighbors or the municipality.

“To ensure the successful operation of this temporary venue, we have put considerable thought and care to create a programming schedule on the property which ensures that each use and event is scheduled to ensure people and traffic management will be effectively managed,” stated the Eddie owners.

The temporary use application proposes to temporarily permit outdoor performances, put on by the Festival of Players, at The Eddie for a period of one year while the Festival Players look for a permanent venue.

However, the report notes an option for the Eddie and Festival Players to re-apply for a temporary use bylaw for the 2023 season.

Filed Under: Local News

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