Res­i­dents op­pose planned win­ery

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - TRACY M. NEAL Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at tneal@nwaon­line.com or Twit­ter @NWATracy.

BEN­TONVILLE — Sev­eral peo­ple voiced their op­po­si­tion to a win­ery tast­ing room be­ing in their com­mu­nity.

The op­po­nents to the project spoke out at pub­lic hear­ing Wed­nes­day dur­ing the Benton County Plan­ning Board meet­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Thomas Op­pen­heim and Derek Hile­man with CEI En­gi­neer­ing, the busi­ness will be a 3,500-square­foot restau­rant and a win­ery op­er­a­tion pro­duc­ing wines on site from fruit juices from other lo­ca­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted, the busi­ness is planned for 3.74 acres at 8497 and 8499 Larue Road, which is east of Rogers and ac­cessed from Arkansas 12 and Arkansas 303. The plans for the restau­rant show seat­ing for 20 and call for no more than two em­ploy­ees at any time.

A sin­gle-fam­ily home will also be on the site.

Op­pen­heim told the plan­ners a busi­ness — a saw mill — is on prop­erty ad­ja­cent to the pro­posed win­ery and restau­rant.

Jerri Ea­ton, who lives at 9220 Larkin Lane said she was con­cerned about wa­ter use and the pos­si­ble drop in wa­ter pres­sure due from the win­ery and restau­rant. The lack of wa­ter pres­sure could ham­per the fire depart­ment in fight­ing a fire, Ea­ton said.

“Wel­come to the neigh­bor­hood,” Ea­ton said. “We don’t want your win­ery.”

Jim Col­lier, who lives in the area, said he was con­cerned about the roads and wa­ter. Col­lier said Larue Road is poorly main­tained.

Col­lier said a part-time lum­ber op­er­a­tion is ad­ja­cent to the pro­posed site. “It’s 100 per­cent res­i­den­tial,” Col­lier said of the area.

Col­lier said the busi­ness may be a good idea, but he be­lieves it’s in­com­pat­i­ble with the area.

David Conner, who lives at 8452 LaRue Road, and Har­ris White, who lives at 19573 He­bron Lane, also ob­jected to the project. Both were con­cerned the road wouldn’t sup­port the traf­fic to the win­ery.

A few other peo­ple also spoke out against the project.

Don­ald Dick, the prop­erty owner, said wa­ter wouldn’t be an is­sue. Dick said they are us­ing con­cen­trates and not grapes so wa­ter use will not be im­pacted.

Dick de­scribed the busi­ness as tast­ing room for wine, along with food pair­ing with the wine. There will be 20 seats and peo­ple need reser­va­tions, Dick said.

The county plan­ners dis­cussed noise, wa­ter and traf­fic is­sues be­fore vot­ing to ap­prove Dick’s ap­pli­ca­tion.

Wayne Ea­ton said af­ter the meet­ing he wants to make sure the busi­ness is safe and doesn’t change the na­ture of the area. Ea­ton said he’s not against the project be­cause it’s a win­ery. “I like wine,” he said.

Dick said plans to in­vite his neigh­bors over to the busi­ness in or­der for them to get to know each other.

His wife, Pamela, said they wanted their busi­ness in the area for the quiet at­mos­phere.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/TRACY M. NEAL

Res­i­dents speak Wed­nes­day against a pro­posed win­ery on Larue Road dur­ing a pub­lic hear­ing at the Benton County Plan­ning Board’s meet­ing in Ben­tonville.

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