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Owera top staffers resign suddenly; loud weddings, complaints continue

Photo by Jason Emerson.

— The board’s discussion centered on the question of whether or not Owera is the winery it was allowed to be or has become an event center that was never intended — or approved — by the town planning board.

“We thought we were approving a winery … and what we ended up with was a banquet hall,” Palmer told the board.

The town board agreed at that meeting that Owera must abide by its original approval agreement and have all its weddings stop by 10 p.m. If not, they agreed that Cook would issue the winery a citation for violating the agreement and, if the winery persists, the issue will end up in court.

Last weekend, Aug. 23 and 24, Owera’s weddings continued to be held at the same volume and for the same duration — until 11 p.m. — as they have in the past, according to neighbors.

The town did not issue any citations for noise and after-hour violations last weekend, Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte said.

Town Councilor Pat Race, who was a vocal proponent of making the winery abide by the planning board permits at the Aug. 12 town board meeting, said he was not sure that the noise issue would be changed immediately. The winery has contractual obligations until 11 p.m. currently, and the town needs to follow the process for situations like this and handle the issue “diplomatically and with everybody’s best interests in mind.”

“It’s one of those things that has to be done properly,” Race said. “But if I have anything to say about it the situation will be alleviated … because it’s just not right.”

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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