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Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Rules eased for weddings in ag, rural zones

The Snohomish County Council on Wednesday eased rules for wedding venues on land zoned as agricultural or rural.
The change will allow weddings to take place partially indoors and partially outdoors. That was prohibited under the previous code. The new regulations also do away with restrictions related to the age of existing buildings on the site.
The council passed the changes 5-0.
The county's previous rules for wedding venues, established in 2000 and later amended, only allowed wedding facilities on undeveloped land or on land with pre-2001 buildings. Under those regulations, the county permitted wedding venues if they were all indoors or all outdoors, but not a combination.
The new rules still strive to protect agricultural and resource land, as well as neighboring businesses. They include standards for noise, vehicle safety and sanitation.
During Wednesday's hearing, business owners testified about the difficulty of trying to comply with a confusing code. Some thought they were operating their businesses legally, only to have the county tell them otherwise.

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