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Medina officials want to allow wineries in downtown

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Village planning officials want to update the zoning for the downtown business district to allow for wineries, breweries and micro-breweries.

The village zoning currently doesn’t state that wineries and breweries are an allowed use in the downtown. That doesn’t mean they are currently prohibited. A project would require a special use permit and extra scrutiny under the current code.

The Planning Board has been discussing the zoning change since December. Planning Board members and Code Enforcement Office Marty Busch have reached out to other communities with wineries and breweries in their business districts.

“We’re gathering information and we have some good information coming in,” Busch said at last week’s Planning Board meeting.

He wants to get a sense of sales volume and parking needs at wineries and breweries in downtown business districts.

Planning Board member Todd Bensley said he wants any zoning changes to include provisions against odor and noise that could be a deterrent to other businesses.

“We need to protect the integrity of the downtown business district,” Bensley said. “It can be a positive if it’s done right.”

Busch said the village has been approached about a winery and brewery in the downtown. He also thinks the village should look at allowing wineries and breweries on the Maple Ridge Road corridor.

The state Legislature and Gov. Cuomo last year approved an expansion of the Niagara Wine Trail through Orleans County to Rochester.

“Medina is a in a good place with the expansion of the wine trail,” Busch said.