Owera Vineyards withdraws events building application from planning board

— With Owera’s building application withdrawn, Langey said he will discuss with the town board’s special counsel — the firm of Germain & Germain, LLP — what that means for Wendel’s ZBA appeal. He said he has been discussing with Wendel, Wendel’s attorney — who represents a coalition of Owera neighbors — and the ZBA chair how the appeal can be withdrawn but also “preserved” for future use of Owera’s application is resubmitted.

Also at the meeting, Langey updated the town board on his ongoing efforts to draft a town noise ordinance, which he said he would present to them at their February meeting. Langey also said the Madison County Planning Board issued a report last week commenting on Wendel’s ZBA appeal of the Owera issue, and it suggested that Cazenovia create a town-wide event policy to prevent future issues such as are occurring at Owera Vineyards. Langey said he is working on such a possible policy and will have a full report for the board in February.

During the town board’s public comment period of its meeting, Owera neighbor Sam Woods said he wanted to make clear to the board that the neighbors do not want to put Owera out of business, they simply do not want an “event center” in their neighborhood. He said they are looking for a “long-term solution” to the issue that goes beyond Owera. He said the town’s current work on a noise ordinance and an events policy were positive steps.

Brian Keeler, also an Owera neighbor, made similar comments to Woods, and said the neighbors want the town to protect citizens’ quality of life while also not discouraging business in the town.

Town Supervisor Bill Zupan said the board is charged with protecting the health and welfare of the community but “government moves slow. We’ll do everything in our power to make your quality of life as good as it was before.”

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