Tuesday, 10. July 2012
Yesterday we learned of proposed and disturbing changes to winery regulations in Fauquier County, Virginia. The 25 farm wineries in Fauquier County could be seriously affected if these proposed changes are approved at a Thursday, July 12 meeting.
One of the wineries seriously affect is the renowned Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, Virginia. Chris Pearmund is the owner and a major force behind the winery industry in Virginia. He owns Pearmund Cellars, is Managing Partner at Vint Hill Winery and is instrumental in helping numerous wineries throughout Virginia and in North Carolina. In 1994, Pearmund purchased his vineyard that had been planted in 1976. He went on to build Pearmund Cellars in 2002.
Is the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors singling out wineries? It seems that the new ordinances to be voted on, are designed to specifically hurt Pearmund Cellars although it will affect all Fauquier County wineries. Does the Board of Supervisors understand the benefits of agritourism? In order to stay in business many wineries need to have events including wine dinners, wine tastings, wine and food pairings and an assortment of other delightful activities. People who visit wineries add to the economy of a region. Bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants and gas stations are all needed. In addition, governments gain with the increase of tax collections.While the new regulations will hurt the wineries, they will also hurt the economy. The benefits of having wineries and vineyards in a region outweigh the minor, if any, inconveniences of a few.
Part of the Zoning Administrator Permit includes these items.
- A winery must be over 25 acres – Pearmund Cellars is at 25 acres
- Winery must not be on an easement – Pearmund Cellars is on an easement
- The building must be 300 foot setback –Pearmund Cellars is at 270 setback
- New changes require parking setback at 300 feet and Pearmund Cellars is at 220-foot setback.
In an email Pearmund wrote, “5 years ago when Fauquier County was acknowledged as ‘best place to live in rural America,’ Pearmund Cellars was highlighted representing what was best about this county. “
One might believe that the Fauquier County is being influenced by Prohibitionist attitudes. Or is it “politics as usual?
Whether you live in Fauquier County or not beware of the impact that politics can play in your enjoyment of wine and at wineries. Attend the meeting or email the following people to express your dissatisfaction with the lack of support for wineries in Fauquier County!
More information is available: http://agenda.fauquiercounty.gov/Bluesheet.aspx?ItemID=1961&MeetingID=80
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 12 at Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel Street, Suite 208, Warrenton, VA 20186.
If you can’t attend please used these email addresses to express your concern before the meeting.
Fauquier County Board of Supervisors emails: