With one county supervisor absent from Tuesday’s meeting, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors was unable to decide whether to grant a Lodi woman permission to open a small winery.
The board reached a 2-2 decision after hearing from Andrea Maley, who appealed the county Planning Commission’s ruling to deny her permits to open a winery.
The tie-breaking vote would have been Chairman Ken Vogel, who was absent from the meeting.
Supervisors will now schedule a re-vote for the next supervisors meeting that Vogel is able to attend.
In 2012, Maley sought permits to open a winery on 2 acres of land along Davis Road near Highway 12, as well as hold 20 marketing events with 100 attendees per event each year.
The Planning Commission rejected her application with a 4-1 vote in July, based on planners’ concerns that Maley would be focused more on marketing events than wine production.
On Tuesday, in an attempt to persuade supervisors to overturn the ruling, Maley withdrew her request for marketing events. However, her attorney Michael Hakeem said Maley might seek permits to host events at a later date.
“If there was to be an approval today, it would be on the winery only, which is her most important request of this board,” Hakeem said.
Supervisors Bob Elliott and Carlos Villapudua voted in favor of Maley’s appeal, while Larry Ruhstaller and Steve Bestolarides rejected the appeal.
Bestolarides, who visited the proposed site last week, said it wasn’t suited for a commercial business.
“This site is not suitable for this type of development,” Bestolarides said. “This is a residential dwelling. It will be detrimental to the quality of life of the surrounding properties.”
But Villapudua said Maley, who has spent 32 years as a winemaker in the Lodi area, has earned the right to pursue her goal.
“I’m one of those who likes to support ... any business,” he said. “I’d like to give this small business a chance to participate. For some, it’s an American dream.”
Despite Maley’s decision to remove her request for marketing events, her neighbor Kenneth Warburton and Julianne Phillips, a representative of the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau, spoke against the proposal.
“The modifications proposed today are nothing more than an anticipation of having marketing events in the future on this very small parcel of land,” Phillips said.
Supervisors could vote on Maley’s appeal during their Nov. 5 meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at email@example.com.