Rhinebeck to redesignate Pitcher parcel as wedding venue

The Rhinebeck town board, along with its planning board is looking to redistrict a seven-acre parcel of land formerly part of the Pitcher farm to allow events like weddings to take place there.

The parcel at 41 Pitcher Road, off Middle Road, is owned by Coregroup Properties, and features a florist barn called The Greenhouse at Rhinebeck, which sells cut flowers and anemones.

The property, which also has a host of greenhouses, currently falls under a “rural countryside” classification, which would be changed to an “office research park” zone under the new designation.

Planning Board Chair Michael Trimble told The Observer that the property has always been used for commercial purposes, but was “inexplicably” designated a “rural countryside district” when the zoning law changed in 2009.

As an office research park, the zone would include a new use titled “special event venue.” Any event within this code would require a special use and approval from the planning board.

Under the proposed new law, events held in the new zone would be limited to no more than 75 attendees and no more than six hours in length. Food preparation and lodging on the grounds would not be permitted.

The proposed law lists uses of the property as “weddings, parties, fundraisers, small conferences, and other similar events.”
The town board has, as required by state law, referred the local law change to the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development for review.

A public hearing on the local law change will be held in the upcoming weeks.

Coregroup, which has a Red Hook mailing address, bought the middle section of land in 2009 from the Pitcher family, who ran a century-old floral business called Ralph Pitcher & Sons, well-known for its anemones. The family still owns the surrounding acreage.

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