MILTON, Ga. — A home in Milton advertised as an event facility has come under scrutiny, and the city has issued a warning that the residence cannot be used for special events.
Milton released a statement regarding Freemanville Estate’s operation and has informed the facilitators they must discontinue and remove any advertising that states the home as an event space.
The city says a covenant put in place by Fulton County states the house is within a three-home subdivision. The regulation prohibits the home from being used as a special event venue.
Milton said the city was approached by Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys fame around two years ago inquiring about a special-use permit for the site, located at 15655 Freemanville Road. During the process, the city noted the covenant and told Littrell it restricted the home from hosting special events.
However, Freemanville Estate has been advertised as a special events facility on its website and social media pages.
At the time of the city’s statement on July 23, the Freemanville Estate website said the home is a “unique setting to make any event perfect.” The site also said the home has five large event spaces and “weddings are our specialty.”
“It is visible to the city, as well as the public, that their Facebook and Instagram pages and their website indicates special events at this location despite what Mr. Littrell has offered in his verbal conversations with our zoning manager,” said Milton Communications Director Shannon Ferguson. “As such, we have directed him to remove all marketing and advertising associated with the ‘Freemanville Estate.’”
Littrell acknowledged the order but said he intended to seek legal counsel, Ferguson said. She added that Littrell said he has not attempted to change the covenant on the property and city staff are digging into any contracts for the site on file with Fulton County.
The city has since verified Littrell is not the property owner, but the site is under contract. Ferguson said there was no need to confirm the site’s owner when Littrell initially approached Milton about a permit because the meeting was an informal discussion.
A statement from the Litrrell’s publicist to Appen Media Group said all events held at the home have been private get-togethers.
“Any and all activities that have occurred at the Freemanville Estate have been private gatherings consisting of the Littrell’s friends and family,” the statement said.
The Freemaville Estate Facebook page has multiple reviews. On June 10, the page posted — under the heading “We love hearing from our clients” — a person thanking “Mrs. Littrell” for organizing a last minute party for around 50 guests and that Littrell had organized furniture delivery and catering and gave a tour of the facility prior to the event. The writer also said she highly recommends “booking this venue.”
Moving forward, the site must comply with the county and city before it can host any specials events, Milton officials say.
“Mr. Littrell and the property owner of record are advised that this property may not be used as a special event facility,” Ferguson said. “Should they choose to move forward with…any other special event, it would be in violation of Milton ordinances, and the code violation would be addressed by code enforcement officers.”
This leaves at least one gathering in limbo. The site was to host the Purple Pansies gala on Sept. 29. The nonprofit previously told the Herald the Littrell family donated the space for the fundraising event.
The city was first informed of the issue by residents who said the site was operating as an event facility and a new paved area had recently been constructed for a possible helipad.
The Littrell’s statement said the paved area was added to increase parking at Freemanville Estate, and the family has no plans to use the area as landing pad for any aircraft.
The statement also said the family has been members of the Milton community for over two decades and does not want to create issues for other residents.
“The Freemanville Estate will be their second home in the area, and they do not intend to jeopardize the existing quality of life of residents in the community,” it said. “Having raised their family in the city of Milton, the Littrells know firsthand how wonderful this community is for families and will continue to do their part to advance the city of Milton.”