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Township winemaker eyes spring building start

Township winemaker eyes spring building start

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By Scott Sullivan

Editor

The Saugatuck Township board gave its blessing Jan. 3 to a new wine making and selling operation proposed by Joseph Krajkiewcz at 6781 124th Ave.

Krajkiewcz and his wife Erica hope to start construction this spring on a 2,560-square-foot processing and tasting room in conjunction with a farm micro winery, vineyard and orchard north of M-89 and east of Blue Star Highway, near the south border of the township.

The board voted 5-0 to recommend that Michigan Liquor Control Commission grant Krajkiewcz a small winemaker’s license, which would allow him to manufacture and sell on site.

“That’s a step in the pro-cess,” he told members. “Then the LCC must approve it.

“That takes time,” he said.

The planning commission approved a site plan for the winery — whose building, driveway and parking lot would be on commercial-zoned land and vineyard/orchard on property zoned agricultural — Feb. 28 last year, provided:

  • Any proposed lighting be approved by the zoning administrator before installation,
  • The existing vegetative buffer along the west property line be maintained,
  • An M-89 address be maintained for the facility,
  • No orchard or vineyard access from private Old Garden Road, unless there is a residential location, and
  • All surface water runoff from the parcel remain onsite.

The couple has planted three acres — two with grapes, another with heirloom apples — since then, plus built a driveway and well onsite.

“The work took more hours than I thought it would,” Krajkiewcz told board members.

He told planners last winter that 70 percent of the 40×64-foot building would be used for processing and the remainder for a retail tasting room.