The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation says a plan by Viaggio Winery to add a deli on its farm violates the state’s Williamson Act, which protects agricultural land from being sold for urban uses.
The Farm Bureau is asking the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors to overturn the county Planning Commission, which unanimously approved the deli on Oct. 18.
The Farm Bureau alleges that by housing a deli, Viaggio will jeopardize long-term productive agricultural capability and sets an undesirable precedent by allowing restaurant usage to the more than 6,600 parcels within the Williamson Act.
The project calls for Viaggio, located on more than 21 acres on the southwest corner of Taddei and Bender roads in Acampo, to convert 2,339 square feet from an existing 7,113-square-foot building into a large agricultural store that would include a deli with indoor seating.
Viaggio officials anticipate having the deli open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., employee three people and attract up to 60 customers per day.
Kerry Sullivan, the county’s community development director, says that the agricultural store and deli will not displace any agricultural operations. Viaggio has about 15 acres of crops, including tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, peppers, cucumbers, apples and peaches.
“ ... The proposed agricultural store relates directly to the production of commercial agricultural products because they are for the promotion of produce grown on the property and on surrounding parcels,” Sullivan wrote in a staff report.
Terri Lawrence, who owns the Viaggio property with her husband, Larry, said during the October Planning commission meeting is that their goals is to have all produce at the store come from the Viaggio property. That would include apple pies from apples in the orchard and olive oil from the olive trees, Terri Lawrence said.
Tuesday’s hearing will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. in the board chambers, 44 N. San Joaquin St., sixth floor, Stockton.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.