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Controversial area winery proposal to be considered

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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:47 am, Wed Nov 16, 2011.

The Turner-Davis Road intersection may eventually be a convenient place for people to go winetasting at several locations without going very far, but some people who live in the rural area west of Lodi see it differently.

The location, between the Lodi city limits and Interstate 5, is in a quiet agricultural area, but it could be surrounded by four large wineries near Turner and Davis roads.

The issue may come to a head on Thursday, when the San Joaquin County Planning Commission considers a use permit for Kapiniaris Vineyards to operate another large winery.

What has residents upset is the live music, and especially the amplified volume at nearby winery events, said Fred Donald, who owns a vineyard on Davis Road between Turner and Sargent roads. He lives 800 feet south of the Kapiniaris property.

"We aren't opposed to the winery; it's the events," said Donald, a physical education teacher at Millswood Middle School in Lodi.

Neighbors came in droves to a public hearing on Dec. 16 to expand Abundance Winery on Turner Road, just east of Davis Road, when eight neighbors complained about noisy music at adjacent events.

Representatives of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce and Visit Lodi! told commissioners during the Abundance hearing that the project would add to the region's tourism efforts based on the wine industry.

Commissioners voted 3-0 that night to approve the Abundance project, which increased the number of permissible marketing events from three per year to 30 and allowed up to 120 visitors.

The Kapiniaris application coming before the Planning Commission on Thursday calls for a production capacity of 150,000 gallons per year, 30 marketing events per year and up to 150 people per event. The project would be in four phases over a 15-year period.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the county planning/public health hearing room, 1601 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton, southeast of Highway 4 and Wilson Way.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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