Compromise ends Lakecliff dispute

Photo by Christian Knight

Allyson Pate will now be able to host 70 guests until 8 p.m. or dusk, a decision with which she is reasonably satisfied.

By JANET COOK

News editor

July 9, 2005

The Hood River County Commission voted Tuesday to grant some of the conditions in an appeal by Lakecliff Bed & Breakfast owners Allyson and Jim Pate regarding weddings held on their property, but changed others in order to “protect property rights in a residential neighborhood,” Rodger Schock, commission chair, said.

The outcome of Tuesday night’s quasi-judicial hearing means that the Pates can continue to have weddings at their Westcliff Drive estate as they have for several years until their neighbors to the west obtain a building permit and begin construction on their property. The neighboring property is owned by Hood River Cliff, LLC, whose manager is Michael Hilb.

Specifically, if Hood River Cliff gets a building permit and begins construction by Sept. 15 of any given year, the next year the Pates must scale back the size of their weddings to 70 guests and the events must end by 8 p.m. or dusk, whichever comes first.

The Hood River County Planning Department had recommended that weddings at Lakecliff, located at 3820 Westcliff Dr., end at 6 p.m. It also had recommended that the Pates scale back their weddings, which currently average 129 guests, to 70 guests starting next year. The planning department’s action resulted from complaints by Michael Hilb and other family members involved in Hood River Cliff about weddings disrupting the residential neighborhood — and specifically their ability to enjoy their property, which borders the Pates’. The Hilbs have not yet begun development on their property, but Michael Hilb said they plan to proceed with lot preparation this summer.

“We’re just continuing as we were,” Hilb said. “We haven’t really been swayed by this whole thing.” He said he didn’t know whether Hood River Cliff would begin construction by this year or not.

Allyson Pate said she felt “relieved” that her wedding business will be able to continue in a viable manner.

“It’s not ideal, but given the commissioners’ feelings on protecting the rights of homeowners, that was the best I was going to get,” she said.

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