When Court Manor was in the process of being sold in 2020, Cottonwood Commercial referred to the property as a “historical gem,” according to its website. Under new ownership, the private estate will soon be shared with the community as the newest wedding and event center.
On Wednesday, the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors approved a special-use permit request from Dave Yutzy, the new owner of Court Manor, located off North Valley Pike near Moore Mill Road. Prior to the vote, a public hearing was held.
Yutzy said he purchased the property in October and knew it had potential to be more than a private residence.
“Court Manor is a special property and deserves to be used by the community,” he said.
Yutzy sought the permit to use Court Manor as a bed-and-breakfast, as well as an event center and wedding venue.
The permit will be used for roughly 50 of the 855 acres on the property, which includes Court Manor, a round barn and property near Wehrmann Lake.
Yutzy said Court Manor has “great potential” for being a B&B, and the secluded lake will be a “wonderful” site for weddings.
According to the permit application, a round barn will be used for weddings throughout the summer on weekends, while Court Manor will be used for weddings year-round. Yutzy said he hoped to have two weddings booked during the same weekend, but does not anticipate two weddings to be held on the same side of the property.
Weddings will be allowed at Court Manor, the round barn or near the lake.
Parking areas were identified in the application and will be required to be maintained with either pavement, concrete, gravel or other pervious surfaces. Parking areas will be able to accommodate 100 to 200 cars near the wedding and event venue sites.
Yutzy also said he plans to host agritourism events, such as a corn maze and pumpkin patch, on the property during the fall.
During the public hearing, Barbara Perry said the area is a farming district, not a commercial district, adding she was concerned Court Manor would become a business.
“Court Manor is a beautiful Southern mansion; it’s not a business,” she said.
Perry, who lives near the property, raised concerns over noise and the type of events that could be booked at the property.
Carolyn Snow also raised concerns over the type of events and said Yutzy will be “running a business not related to agriculture.”
Kelly Getz, county zoning administrator, said weddings and reunions will be permitted through the special-use permit. Concerts will not be permitted.
Yutzy said he intends to preserve the rural character of the property and its history.
District 1 Supervisor Dewey Ritchie said he had no problem granting the permit because it will support the agricultural industry in the long run.
The Board of Supervisors approved the request unanimously.
The board also approved revising and renewing the Ottobine Agricultural-Forestal District for a 10-year period.
Director of Planning Bradford Dyjak said the Ottobine Agricultural-Forestal District is set to expire on July 12, and several landowners asked to withdraw from the district.
With the revision, the district will include 26 parcels totaling more than 1,142 acres. The four withdrawal requests will decrease the district by roughly 352 acres.
In other business, a special-use permit request for a small contractor business was tabled by the board to address concerns from neighboring property owners.
Huck Hensley requested a special-use permit for his business located off Pleasant Valley Road near Cross Keys Road.
Getz said Hensley requested a special-use permit in 2002, but was denied.
David Brown, an adjacent property owner, said he didn’t want Hensley’s business to continue or be a permanent use of the property.
Karen Robertson, also an adjacent property owner, said the business violates Hensley’s deed and asked the board to delay action on the request.
The board was also supposed to hear a request for a mini-storage facility, but the applicant withdrew his application prior to the public hearing.
According to the special-use permit application, Jeremiah Boucher, of Las Vegas, was seeking to place five mini-storage unit buildings on a roughly 4.5-acre parcel located off Opal Drive near West Mosby Road.