The county has approved plans by a Canby couple to transform the former nursery property they own on Highway 211 south of Canby into Lavender Owl Farm, which they hope will be one of the area’s premier destination wedding and event venues.
The plans by owners Robert and Lesley Wise were reviewed in a public hearing in early January, and the decision from the hearing officer came down last week to approve their proposal with certain conditions.
Reached shortly thereafter, Lesley Wise said they were excited to hear the “great news.”
“Now I can start actively marketing and hope to book enough to get to the second phase, and third and fourth!” she said in an email. “We have many plans for the coming years, and will be holding an open house in May.”
She said they plan to eventually plant lavender — I mean, when the name of your property is “Lavender Owl Farm,” that just makes sense — and other herbs. Down the road — “way down the road,” Lesley corrected herself — maybe even a small farm store.
Their original plans for the 21-acre property were to turn what was once a “very neglected tree nursery” into a premier wedding venue.
In their planning application, they explained how they have worked hard to revive the neglected nursery stock and clean up the property of overgrown brush and blackberry brambles, revealing “natural garden spaces” and intimate “wooded areas, perfect for weddings, parties and group gatherings.”
They requested permission to hold up to six events a year to start with, with the possibility of later expanding to 16. The maximum attendance at each event would be 175 guests, with the majority being in the 50-100 range. These requests were approved by the county.
The farm would be open for events from mid-May through early September because it’s primarily an outdoor venue, though there is an existing 2,400-square-foot barn the owners would like to use as an additional event space.
They have parking for up to 100 vehicles, including some handicapped spaces, and their entrance from Highway 211 has been approved for events by ODOT.
The Wises believe that Lavender Owl Farm would have a beneficial impact on the local economy.
“Weddings and social events bring people from many different towns, states and countries, and they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and visit local places,” they said. “They spend money here and we all benefit.”
Photo courtesy Lavender Owl Farm.
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