NORWAY — Residents along a rural private road in North Norway implored town officials to reject a proposed wedding center planned for Delano Drive to protect their peaceful neighborhood.

Around 60 area residents packed into a large meeting room at the Town Office on Thursday night to discuss allowing owners of a rural lodge and luxury barn at 65 Delano Drive to use the property to host wedding parties.

The project by Granite Ridge Estate has received most local and state approvals, but has not been green-lighted by the Planning Board. Members did not act on the application Thursday night, and are expected to make a decision on July 31. 

In 2006, Portland-based business owner Anthony Fratianne and his family built a 3,500-square-foot timber-framed lodge, which is rented out sporadically throughout the summer. The building can hold around 200 people.

If it gets approval, the business plans to expand services to host weddings at the luxury barn on-site, and rent the lodge to the bridal party, as well as other group events.

The idea has remained controversial among neighbors, who fear a deluge of noise and imperiled walking conditions.


Resident Karen Hill said she moved to a rural location because, “I didn’t want to be on a main thoroughfare.”

Norway has no zoning laws, and there are no guidelines on commercial business development in residential areas.

Richard Chase who lives on nearby Wiley Road, sympathized that the family had poured money into the project, but didn’t want noise to transform his neighborhood.

“I’ve listened to nails being pounded and horns honked, coming right down into my living room,” Chase said.

It was a point Ed Smith, who lives on Norway Center Road, agreed with.

“It’s a wonderful idea, but lousy place for everyone involved,” he said.


The private, dirt road is solely maintained by the residents on the road, and outside the town’s jurisdiction to widen, pave or plow, according to Planning Board Chairman Dennis Gray.

Several local business owners urged residents to consider the money the wedding — and its guests — would bring.

Scott Mondor of Harrison, an events planner, said the Fratianne family had gone out of their way to accommodate neighbors’ concerns.

“Just doing that shows the concern the family has. There’s not another wedding vendor I know who shuttles people,” Mondor said.

Anthony’s mother, Nancy Fratianne, who also lives on Delano Drive, said they’ve strived to be neighborly because they want to bring an economic stimulus to the area.

“Our idea is to make this area better,” she said.


In 2013, the property, including 116 acres of land with buildings, was assessed at $557,300 and brought in $8,025 in taxes.

Reacting to concerns, Fratianne revised original plans and reduced the number of on-site parking spots from 80 to 20.

Instead, an agreement was made for wedding guests to park off-site at Mondor’s lot at Affordable Events LLC  in Harrison and Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, from where they will be transported by LA Luxury Limousine, according to owner Josh Tice. He noted that drivers will not exceed 16 mph.

In a light moment, Tice urged residents to trust in the developers.

“I asked my 8-year old daughter, who I go to all my wise advice for, what I should tell people,” Tice said.

“She said, ‘Tell them to watch “Cinderella,” and see how beautiful that wedding was.'”

“This family is coming here to grow the community,” Tice said.

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