Owera Vineyards proposes permanent events building to planning board

— Board Member Anastasia Urtz, who works in the events business, said she was concerned with the house rules Owera imposes at every event, that the nature of events is that people try to violate rules and go louder and longer than events are initially scheduled to go.

“There must be house rules, this affects what you’re doing architecturally,” she said. “That’s where we’ve got to get some boundaries.”

Caruso said Muserlian is already working on interior house rules, but the new building will reduce noise with a “human-free” solution.

Urtz also said she was concerned about the potential uses the winery sees for the additional wing planned for the new building. Muserlian said the meeting rooms in the wing would be for trade shows, pharmaceutical dinners, corporate retreats and similar events.

Town Attorney John Langey at this point said he wanted to make clear that the planning board originally approved Owera to be a winery, not a hotel or any other sort of business.

“I’ve heard and read comments calling this an ‘event center.’ This planning board cannot approve that,” Langey said, adding that while a winery can have events, the primary purpose of the use of the Owera property is as a winery and not an event center. “I don’t want anybody misunderstanding … you don’t have the power to turn this into something other than a winery. If you did, you’re operating outside of the town zoning law,” he told the board.

Ferguson asked the Owera experts what would happen if the board approved the new building, it was constructed and it ultimately did nothing to address the noise issues and complaints. Andres said the Owera sound system can be programmed to set a profile to minimize noise or “tune out” specific problems such as bass noise or high frequency sound waves. “That’s the final solution,” he said. “There is a way.”

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