Permits could be required for area wedding venue to continue

More than a year after opening their doors, the owners of a wedding venue located in Dripping Springs’ extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) might be required to submit site development permits as none were found on file.

An investigation was launched by the city of Dripping Springs over a month ago before contact was made with Shon and Janie Saliga, owners of the Garden Grove wedding venue, located on RM 967 west of Buda.

Kyle Dannhaus, Dripping Springs building code enforcement officer, and city engineer Chad Gilpin were involved with the process. Ginger Faught, Dripping Springs deputy city administrator, said the Saliga’s wedding venue initially didn’t require permits because it was a home.

However, permits might be required after six, single-room casitas were constructed in the back of the property to accommodate wedding guests.

“Once staff looks at the property, a decision will be made if Garden Grove will need a site development plan for the wedding venue,” Faught said.

Since the home is located in the Dripping Springs ETJ, the city does not have land use authority and is limited in how it can regulate a business like Garden Grove, she said.

The Saligas, who are former IBM executives, built their dream home with the intent of using it as a residential space before the couple decided to transform their home into a wedding venue, hosting around ten weddings since it opened its doors.

In a previous interview with the News-Dispatch, the Saligas said they transformed their home as a means to provide a wedding venue in the Hill Country, with the advantage of having the home off of RM 967 and not in a residential neighborhood.

But as business continued to thrive, a decision was made to add the six casitas.

Shon Saliga said Dannhaus walked the property and deemed that site development plans may be required for the six casitas, but that would be determined at a later date.

However, approval of the potential site development plans may not need a public hearing through the Planning and Zoning Commission or city council.

Any project is eligible for administrative approval, but it doesn’t necessarily have to go through council, Faught said.

The Saligas’ home is addressed in Buda, but the property is located in the Dripping Springs ETJ, bringing initial confusion as to which city regulates the permitting process.

“Our ETJ is so big sometimes we don’t hear about things as they happen but we try our best to regulate what we can with the power that we have as a city,” Faught said.

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