New Owners Seek to Transform ‘Very Neglected’ Nursery South of Canby into Premier Wedding Venue

What was once a “very neglected tree nursery” on Highway 211 south of Canby is under new ownership and could see a vibrant new life as a wedding and event venue if the county agrees to grant their conditional use permit after a hearing next month.

Lavender Owl Farm is a 21-acre property zoned for exclusive farm use. The term is a bit of a misnomer: Oregon codes allow for a number of non-farm uses on properties zoned for “exclusive farm use,” including churches, private airfields and, yes, venues for certain kinds of events.

Owners Robert and Lesley Wise seem particularly keen to set Lavender Owl up as 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.

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. That will be up to the county.

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.”

The hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Photo by JKiekpke Photography, courtesy Lavender Owl Farm.

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