Ferguson given OK to harvest crop at former golf course

PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK A sketch of Ferguson Estates' trail system.

Matt Ferguson will be allowed to harvest a soybean crop “accidentally” planted on a former golf course which he hopes to run as a wedding venue.
Ferguson appeared before a Plympton-Wyoming planning meeting Monday to get an exemption to the zoning of open spaces which had been in place since Bonnie Doon Golf Course existed.
That designation had been controversial in 2019, when neighbours submitted the property should be rezoned because the area would now be used primarily as a wedding venue and should be subject to different rules.
Council disagreed, saying a planned driving range was the main use, and a planned corn maze and trails were added recreational uses. The wedding venue was an added use and was permitted.
But according to a report from Planner Sarah Baldwin, the owner signed an affidavit March 3, saying he accepted he could not farm the land for a profit and that the corn grown in the corn maze “may be grown but not for sale or consumption by animal or person”.
Baldwin’s report suggested Ferguson was looking for approval to sell the corn planted for the maze, however it also came to light at the meeting soybeans were planted on the land. Ferguson says that was “accidental” and he apologized.
Councillor Tim Wilkins argued he had hunted on the land for years and there had always been farming there. That, said CAO Carolyn Tripp, would make agriculture a legal use of the property.
However, council didn’t seem ready to allow the practice to continue.
It granted Ferguson the right to harvest what had been planted on the property in 2020 with the understanding there would be no agriculture taking place, other than the corn maze in 2021.