Neighbors have called The Backyard of Kalamazoo a nuisance, and "unruly" with its loud music, and late-night events, yet the owners say they have done nothing to alienate the community they're in.

It's been a long road for them to try and get the approval of Texas Township to continue operations, and late last week, they got just that, despite any uproar from neighbors.

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Tuesday, April 23rd, the Texas Township Planning Commission voted to allow a new restaurant, and event space - The Backyard of Kalamazoo - to continue its operations at 10441 Stadium Drive, which is actually six miles west of Kalamazoo.

The center has hosted many events in the past, and just started serving food and drinks when the community tried to crack down on their fun.

The center is actually quite family-friendly, providing picnic tables, games and toys for children, and for the adults, a locally-sourced, high-end pub and new restaurant. They hosted many events during the spring and summer last year, and became dependent on these events to stay open, which included a Halloween and New Year's event.

Why Did Texas Township Have a Problem with The Backyard of Kalamazoo?

However, it was that New Year's event that proved to be the final straw, as it was pointed out the township does not allow them the proper approval to have these kinds of events.

Unaware of this policy, the owners got to work quickly, and asked for a proposal that would allow them to continue hosting events. During this past Tuesday's Commission meeting, approval was finally given, but with some stipulations.

The Backyard of Kalamazoo must adhere to a 60-decible limit on noise and can only host events once a week. Additionally, they will need to build a 6-foot privacy fence along the southern property line, and put in new parking.

To meet the demands of the proposal from the township, owner Kelly Sandemeyer said they will have to sell 10 acres of the property just to pay for the parking. She also said they have been up against the township ever since they began planning for the establishment.

She spoke to MLive about their troubles.

"We, more than anyone else, would absolutely love to do those things, but we simply can't afford it. When the trees that we have spent thousands of dollars planting are questioned for being a half centimeter too narrow - after already being approved - or we have surprise inspections (with) new findings that were approved when we opened, but aren't now... it puts into question whether or not the township wants us to succeed."

They have been threatened to be shut down before, however, they were instructed to file a "Special Exception Use" to become an event center to host events. That was submitted in March, and finally the board has approved it pending the changes.

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