(Editor’s Note: Dave Middlemas has a few thoughts about the winery lawsuit filed by 11 Old Mission Peninsula wineries. Read on… -jb)
I’m writing to express my concern about the lawsuit brought by a group of 11 wineries to greatly expand and change the Township Ordinances governing their operations. As I understand it, among other things, the requested changes include:
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- Allowing creation of a winery on any 5-acre property zoned agricultural (there are close to 100 of them in the Township)
- Alcohol service from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. (remember when you couldn’t buy alcohol on Sundays until after 12 p.m.?)
- Concerts until 2 a.m.
- Wine-tasting facilities of any size
- The ability to build up to four houses on each 5-acre site for employees
- Catering and food truck operations
My family history in Old Mission traces back to 1900, when my grandparents, Albert and Emily Prescott, purchased “The Pines” and a nearby farm. I have been going there regularly almost every year since I was a baby (and that’s a long time ago!).
I always look forward to my arrival there – catching my first glimpse of Old Mission Harbor as we approached Lardie’s store and post office (and it’s still Lardie’s to me). Living in Chicago when I was young, Old Mission was so peaceful, bucolic and relaxing – heaven on earth.
The changes demanded by the group of wineries are a direct threat to the very things about Old Mission that we hold dear, and I certainly hope that the Township can prevail. It seems to me that the existing ordinances were designed to prevent the types of things that are now being demanded.
For all of us old time residents, full time or seasonal, I hope the wineries are not successful.