To the editor:
(These comments were sent to the Town Council on July 28.)
Members of the Town Council:
I would like to weigh-in in favor of the Stone House being permitted to host weddings. I find it very upsetting that the town has denied the permit to hold such events there.
As the neighbor directly to the east, approximately 50 feet from the tent where such events are held, we have had no issues with the previous weddings that have been held there, and since the Stone House has been under new management, they have been exemplary in managing these events.
When the time comes to silence the music, it is done. They have been very respectful of our rights and have been conscientious to not infringe upon our peace and tranquility.
We have had our house next to the Stone House since 1964, and during that tenure we have had only one or two instances where we complained. One incident was because the party started launching lighted lanterns into the air and they were drifting towards our house. Another incident occurred when a wedding party was carrying on by the fire pit and was rowdy and boisterous at about 1 a.m. Both of those incidents occurred well before the current management took over.
As we all know, Little Compton is a very special place, and those of us who cherish it want to see it maintained. A wedding is a very happy, solemn event where many memories are made. Admittedly, it brings outsiders into Little Compton, but I don’t see this as being a bad thing.
Many people who get exposed to Little Compton, come back because they enjoy the serenity and beauty it offers. They rent a cottage for a couple of years and then purchase a home here. That’s how my family found Little Compton. Norm and Betty Paul, Carol Haffenraffer’s in-laws invited my parents to visit from New Hampshire in 1954, and we came and stayed at the Stone House. My parents decided Little Compton offered so much that we started renting various houses in different parts of Little Compton. Then they bought the lot directly east of the Stone House and built our home in 1964 (120C Sakonnet Point Road – “Swan Way”).
I am currently in the process of planning making modifications to our home so that I can become a full-time resident.
The Stone House offers Little Compton residents and outsiders a place to stay, a place to eat, a place to gather as in the past with the Soup and Sandwich. It is my understanding that the Stone House wants to re-kindle some of these type events which is a benefit to the community.
… There is an important element that we/you are not taking into consideration. Many of the current contracts/ plans were agreed to when there were no issues with having weddings etc at the Stone House, and now to deny the issuance of a permit not only makes the Stone House look bad, but it makes Little Compton look like it doesn’t know what it is doing.
I understand there is a wedding scheduled for August 12, and as the immediate next door neighbor, I suggest that you approve that and other venues that have been booked and then revise the regulations/standards that you feel are appropriate. It is totally unfair to change standards mid-stream after people have committed to major expenses for an event. How would you feel having the rug pulled from beneath your feet?
As the neighbor most directly affected, I do not feel this speaks well for the Town of Little Compton.
In closing, I would request that the Town Council support the Stone House as it is an integral part of Little Compton and has been for a long time. Let others share the beauty and serenity of Little Compton.
Thomas R. Kauffmann