- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A proposed text amendment regarding events on farms, debated for more than two years, was floored after the Calvert County Planning Commission came to a consensus not to pursue the matter further during its Jan. 16 meeting.
The commission did, however, specify that it wanted county staff to focus on the “winery situation.”
With six members of the commission present, the board’s unanimous consensus was to pursue regulations for events at wineries, breweries and distilleries throughout the county and then, if there are other problems, they would be dealt with as they come up.
“Going back some years ago, this all took place because of the (Solomons Island Winery) and what to do about that and … what we could do about that road situation down there,” Planning Commission Chairman Maurice Lusby said. “Then the Running Hare (Vineyard) was also added to it because of the number of events that were going on. Then lo’ and behold, the entire agricultural community got put under the scope of ‘well let’s fix this, that and the other,’ since there’s possibilities of something going awry. And then we even got into farm stands. … We started to try and fix things that didn’t have anything wrong with them.”
Commissioner Malcolm Funn said he felt the commission was overregulating and trying to regulate something “before it comes down the pike.”
He said, “I have always felt that we were looking at something that I felt we shouldn’t be looking at. … I agree with you. I think we got overboard with trying to solve things.”
Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building Director Chuck Johnston said he doesn’t have a problem focusing staff’s efforts, but the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners feels “something needs to be done” about farm stands in the county.
“I’m feeling obligated to come back to you with that as well at some point,” he told the planning commission.
County staff was directed to look at how other jurisdictions regulate events at wineries, breweries and distilleries to see if there is some sense of pattern or best practices that might be beneficial to Calvert County.
In other business, county staff presented the planning commission with the preliminary review of the county’s six-year Capital Improvement Plan budget beginning with fiscal 2014. Staff determined all projects in the budget comply with the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan and town center master plans.