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  1. #1
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    Winery zoning issues

    This must seem a no brainer in areas where wineries are prevalent but this story illustrates the local zoning and hurdles facing those who have a dream of opening a winery.

    In unincorporated McHenry county, IL a proposed winery has been hashed and re-hashed numerous times by the county board. It finally got the go ahead and a new winery license was created, the long list of proposed amendments were defeated, but the long battle is a case in point.

    http://www.nwherald.com/2012/05/16/m...cense/at914xn/

    1. Zoning...some board members dislike changing the zoning with a special use zone from agriculture to the winery. They discussed the idea that 50% of the grapes would have to be locally grown for it to keep the current zoning...when in fact about 10-20% will be locally produced.

    2. Tavern/Bar.....by having tastings, the winery is acting the same as a tavern and bar...some board members were all in aflutter about boozing and eventual other non-winery operations such as retail store selling winery merchandise etc.

    One vocal critic said: “What we’re doing is turning our winery license into bars that can stay open at bar hours and [serve] bar alcohol. The only difference I see ... is the location,”

    A supporting board member said:
    “This has taken seven months – we have obstructionists, we have people who just don’t want this,” Merkel said. “I think we’re business friendly. I think ... we’re not giving that impression.”

    Another said:
    “If you want a business and it has some controversy, you may as well go to Wisconsin because it won’t go anywhere here,”

    Comments are mostly right on the money:
    http://www.nwherald.com/2012/05/16/m...ist-comments=1

    Question - for those of you in more traditional wine country, this must seem
    ridiculous, but for those in more recent wine growing areas is this a familiar theme...at least in the beginning? You would think it would be easy to look at how counties around the country have dealt with the issue and just copy them.

    What would happen if a microdistillery was proposed!
    Last edited by Jono; 05-17-2012 at 09:02.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Napa, CA
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    Re: Winery zoning issues

    I can see a few factors at play here:

    1.) Fear of the unknown/NIMBY. People don't like change.

    2.) Lack of comps. If there were other wineries nearby, it might be easier to show that the increased tourism & revenues easily offset traffic or other
    alcohol related issues.

    3.) Alcohol. There are still some deep rooted resistances to anything related to booze. It's too bad -- wineries and people in the business are often some of the best regulators as we all know overserving benefits no one.

    I hope they get it worked out.
    tl; dnr

  3. #3
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    Northwest of Peoria
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    Re: Winery zoning issues

    It makes me wonder what hoops Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, ILL. had to jump through.

    They have a gift shop, kitchen, full service bar and a banquet hall that seats about 250.

    There's also a winery down in Nauvoo despite the fact that the area is heavily Mormon.

    Maybe I should be asking what the hell's wrong with McHenry county.

  4. #4
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    Re: Winery zoning issues

    Similar NIMBY issue with an apple orchard in the Detroit neighborhood Palmer Park.

    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/...some-neighbors
    bibamus, moriendum est
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  5. #5
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    Re: Winery zoning issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    Similar NIMBY issue with an apple orchard in the Detroit neighborhood Palmer Park.

    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/...some-neighbors
    Wait till they offer hard cider!

 

 

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