Hosting events at Viking Cove is not in violation of the property’s permit, the Haines Borough Planning Commission determined in June.

Use of the Viking Cove rental property for events has, once again, come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

“The Chetneys (are) advertising an events venue at Viking Cove for which they have no permit,” neighbor Katherine Palmer wrote in a May 1 email to Haines Borough interim manager and clerk Alekka Fullerton.

Online documents market the property’s Valhalla Hall as an event venue for up to 250 guests while the property’s conditional use permit is for a vacation rental with a 20-person maximum overnight occupancy.

Palmer said the rental of Valhalla Hall as an event space for hundreds of people should be considered a violation of this permit and requested the matter go before the planning commission in June.

In an interview Monday, property owner Bill Chetney said he’s tired of dealing with the same complaints and doesn’t think renting out the space for events like the 175-person wedding that took place last weekend violates the terms of his permit, so long as renters adhere to the 20-person overnight guest limit.

“What people choose to do with the property during the day when they have it rented is their affair. They have the run of the house,” he said.

At the June meeting, commissioners also expressed irritation that the matter had arisen again. According to a summary of the issue in the June planning commission packet, similar complaints were filed in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020, and in all cases the commission found that no permit violation had occurred.

In a written recommendation to the commission, Fullerton said the Chetneys have adhered to the terms of the conditional use permit.

“There is nothing in the permit conditions that limits the number of guests on the property. The conditions… were for number of (overnight) guests in vacation rental units,” she said.

In recent letters to the editor, several residents have stated support for Palmer’s complaint. In a June 24 letter, Linda Moyer said whether or not people agree with Palmer, she has a right to file permit violation complaints.