(Old Mission Peninsula resident Bud Stych has a few thoughts on the lawsuit filed by OMP wineries against Peninsula Township. The wineries claim the township’s ordinance restrictions are causing them to lose thousands of dollars each year. Read more about the lawsuit here. -jb)
It’s unfortunate that a group of wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula decided to file a lawsuit in Federal court, even though Peninsula Township was cooperating with them to seek solutions to accommodate their desired changes.
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Obviously, the wineries were not pleased with the way things were going or the speed of the negotiations.
The wineries are commercial businesses and want to make as much money as they can. This is America, and that’s fine. However, they cross a line when the changes they want conflict with what the community wants, as evidenced by a recent Peninsula Township survey, which showed a majority of residents oppose continued winery growth in the Township. (Read the results of the survey here. -jb)
The wineries knew the rules at the time they were established, but now they want to change them. They have extensive resources and can hire expensive lawyers in Grand Rapids, while Peninsula Township’s resources are relatively meager, since they have to use taxpayers’ monies to defend their ordinances.
It’s time for the wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula to realize what they signed up for when they were established. You shouldn’t build a winery based on a township’s ordinance, and then expect the ordinance to change based on your wishes.
(Editor’s Note: The wineries collectively filing the lawsuit include 2 Lads Winery, Bowers Harbor Vineyard & Winery, Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery, Chateau Grand Traverse, Chateau Chantal, Peninsula Cellars, Hawthorne Vineyards, Bonobo Winery, Tabone Vineyards, Black Star Farms and Mari Vineyard. All but Bonobo are part of the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula Association (WOMP), a Michigan non-profit corporation comprised of member wineries. However, they recently re-branded their website as the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail. -jb)