BEND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon woman has been fined $500 for hosting a wedding on her farm last year in violation of a county code.

A judge found Kelly Brown guilty of violating Deschutes County land use laws by renting out her property near Redmond for a June 2009 wedding and charging a fee of $2,500.

Brown's attorney, Dave Hunnicutt, also entered guilty pleas on Brown's behalf Tuesday for three more claims that Brown held weddings on her property in violation of county code.

The Bulletin newspaper reported the cases were part of a dispute between property owners who believe they have the right to rent their farmland for events, and neighbors and others who say the practice is illegal.

Hunnicutt said Brown plans to apply for a change in county land use law to allow weddings on farmland.

He asked Deschutes County Circuit Judge Barbara Haslinger to reduce or waive the fines for the additional three violations, so Brown could save money instead to pay for the county land use application.

Haslinger decided not to impose fines for the other three cases but warned Brown she would have to pay the maximum fine of $720 if she violates county code by renting her property for weddings again.

Hunnicutt said his client plans to ask the county to waive the $10,000 application fee to change county code through a process known as a text amendment.

The Deschutes County Commission would have to approve a waiver, said Steven Griffin, assistant county counsel.

Four people who live near farm wedding operators in the Bend area and oppose the practice attended Tuesday's hearing for Brown, including James Gindlesperger.

"It just doesn't seem fair that someone can violate the law, and make a profit at it," Gindlesperger told the newspaper.


Information from: The Bulletin,

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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