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Owera Vineyards, town at odds over loud weddings

Neighbors complain that new winery is ignoring original limits set on it by town planning board

— Clement said he has called the police three times to complain about the noise, and he knows other neighbors have as well, but it never stops until at least 11 p.m. Clement also sent a letter of complaint to the planning board chair on June 17 asking if there was any variance issued he was not aware of that would allow Owera to hold events beyond the 10 p.m. limit stated in the planning board approval for the project.

“It’s up to the town to get this under control,” Clement said, adding that, as far as he can tell, Owera is violating its operational agreement with the town as stipulated in the planning board records. “No one is policing it.”

The neighbors have been asking the town for assistance in alleviating their concerns, and recently have started circulating petitions complaining about the noise and the lights to present to the town board asking for relief.

Town board to intervene

At the town board’s Aug. 12 regular monthly meeting, the Owera issue was discussed at length by the board, Planning Board Chair Palmer and Town Codes Officer Roger Cook.

“So far, we’ve had a fair number of complaints about traffic, lighting and noise,” Cook told the board. He said numerous residents have looked through the town planning board files concerning the winery’s construction approval and feel the town “has not lived up to” its job in holding Owera responsible for following the conditions set upon its operations under its site plan approval by the planning board.

Neighbors have complained about the lights leading down Owera’s driveway being too bright, pointing up rather than down and being beyond the planning board’s original strictures. Neighbors have also complained about cars parking along East and North Lake roads when the Owera parking lot is full. Cook said co-owner Peter Muserlian has agreed to put in new, dimmer lights that are dark-sky compliant and is also in the process of adding another parking lot to the property which will resolve any parking overflow.

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