Conway residents against local vineyard hosting weddings

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A Conway Vineyard is looking to expand their business, but a nearby neighborhood is trying to put those plans on hold.

On Tuesday, the Horry County Board of Architectural Review held a public hearing for Greg Hyman, owner of Hyman Vineyards, located off Old Bucksville Road.

Hyman wanted to obtain a renewal on his agri-tourism permit, also allowing him to host wedding and receptions on his property. This is where things got controversial.

Some residents in the neighborhoods around Hyman's Vineyard don't want him hosting such events.

"If he would've had this venue up before I built, I wouldn't have built there. I would've said this is not where I want to be," said Earl Clyburn.

Other residents were in favor of some agri-tourism events like school field trips, trail walking and picking your own produce, but pleaded with the board to not approve a permit for weddings.

"Do the farming, have the kids come in, walk on the trails, do whatever you want to do, but please no weddings or reception activities," said Mary Ellen Roberts.

Most residents live in the Vineyard at Keysfield and chose the location for its quiet and peaceful nature.

Despite most residents being against the permit, some were willing to give Hyman an opportunity.

Denzel Morgan said, "They work their butts off, I thought I had a hard job when I retired but I think you want to give this man a chance."

Which the council ultimately did, unanimously voting to give Hyman a one-year agri-tourism permit for the weddings with a public hearing review to follow in January 2019.

Hyman said all he's looking for is another opportunity to grow his business.

"The one thing people need to understand is, like any other business, farming changes," Hyman said. "We are all value-added now, so whatever value I can add it will supplement my income and bring awareness to agriculture or maybe increase my marketing position, I'm going to do."

There are restrictions on this permit: weddings and receptions can only take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and no music systems are to be used on the property.

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