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St. Jorge Winery withdraws plan for Acampo expansion

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Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:26 am, Wed Nov 7, 2012.

The owners of St. Jorge Winery suddenly withdrew their controversial application to expand activities on their property on Tuesday, just before the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors was to consider whether they should be allowed to proceed.

Vernon and Jenise Vierra agreed to withdraw the application that had numerous neighbors in western Acampo up in arms over the potential for parties and loud music at the winery, according to Stockton attorney Mike Hakeem, who represents the Vierras.

"We're going to reach out with the neighbors," Hakeem said later Tuesday afternoon.

Hakeem added that the Vierras may submit a revised project for county consideration that would be satisfactory to the neighbors.

The county Planning Commission voted 3-2 in September to approve added public events and more buildings at the winery at 22769 N. Bender Road near Taddei Road, Acampo.

However, Romano and Judy Isola, neighbors of the Vierras on Bender Road, appealed the Planning Commission's decision to the Board of Supervisors. The appeal was to be heard today.

Plans called for the 14.47-acre St. Jorge Winery to have 24 marketing events accommodating 150 people per year. St. Jorge is allowed only four events per year with a maximum of 25 guests per event.

County planner Mo Hatef reported at the September Planning Commission meeting that the county had begun enforcement action against St. Jorge because the Vierras had begun construction of an amphitheater and commercial kitchen without a permit from the county.

In addition, the winery held events with more than the 25 guests permitted by county planners, according to Hatef's staff report.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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