A farm winery business has gotten the green light from the Isanti County Board to proceed with operations.

During the Isanti County Board meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, the board approved a conditional use permit for James Bird and Matthew Winters to operate a farm winery business in Stanchfield, located within Cambridge Township.

Zoning Administrator Trina Bergloff explained the conditional use permit was also approved by the Isanti County Planning Commission during its Aug. 12 meeting.

During the Planning Commission meeting, Winters said he and Bird currently have two buildings that will be used for the winery, with the smaller building being used for a tasting room and dry storage and the larger building being used for production, wine ingredients and storage. He said the existing home on the property will remain as a private residence.

Winters said the business, J. Bird Wines Inc., has been in operation since 1993 and they use all local ingredients for their products including honey, juice, fresh fruit, fruit concentrates and teas. They also produce mead.

As part of approval of the conditional use permit, 28 conditions need to be met by the owners. Below are just a few of the conditions that need to be followed:

• The venue will be open to the public in April, May, June, October, November and December. The hours of operation will be Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• A maximum of 46 people are allowed in the tasting room.

• Up to five special events are allowed per year with a maximum of 75 people on site.

• Special events can include workshops on how to make mead, barrel tastings, and releases of new flavors and private company tastings. The hours for the special events will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

• The hours of operation for production will be Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. year-round and must be done all indoors.

• The owner-operator will be responsible for supervising and controlling the activities of their customers within the establishment. The farm winery owner must ensure that no disorderly behaviors occurs in this area, that farm winery drinks are not taken out of the designated area, and that there are not more customers occupying the establishment than the maximum capacity allowed under the conditional use permit.

Bergloff also noted that since the business has been in operation since 1993, there have been no complaints or documented issues.

In other news:

• The County Board received a request from Ty Torgerson, of Springvale Township, for a conditional use permit to hold an annual mega truck event the last Saturday of September for mega trucks to race. While the Isanti County Planning Commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit during its Aug. 12 meeting, the vote to approve the conditional use permit by the County Board ended with a 2-2 vote. The item was placed on the Sept. 1 board meeting agenda for further discussion.

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