A popular Kansas City, Kan., winery says they will be forced to close their doors after the Unified Government of Wyandotte County declined to renew a special use permit following neighbor complaints.
A successful winery in KCK may be forced to close because of a permit renewal being denied. More at 10 pic.twitter.com/RjI8AEMQT1
— Josh Helmuth (@Jhelmuth) January 30, 2016
Wine Barn sits off a rural road near Piper at 2850 N 119th St and has been open since 2009.
Starting in 2010, the were granted a special use permit for live music, a common practice for growing wineries, according to the owners.
Celeste Mikijanis is the co-owner of Wine Barn.
She says some of the stipulations included with the permit were that live music could only be held on 14 Fridays per year and that music must be turned off by 9 pm. She says they always complied. Neighbors disagree.
“When they say, ‘we have complied 100 percent.’ that's not really true. That's the reason we kept coming down here because they were not complying,” said Larry Reynolds, a neighbor who testified against Wine Barn in front of the UG commissioners Thursday night.
The closest neighbor to Wine Barn is Anne Seeberger, who lives just yards away from the winery. She testified as well.
"We've had to go through this for years and as soon as I moved into the neighborhood, people wanted to come up to me and say 'do you know what's going on?'"
Mikijanis said events with live music make up a huge portion of their profit and that things are now looking bleak for their business.
She also said she would like answers from the commissioners on their decision, claiming there’s never been any indication of non-compliance.
The winery co-owner also said it’s a step back for the county.
"We're a tourist attraction. When people's families come from out of town they bring them here. We don't just have people here from Wyandotte County. We used to have to go to Johnson County or Missouri to spend our money. Now, we have this here. Now we're getting those tax dollars, that money coming into our county."
Commissioners discussed the matter for nearly an hour Thursday night before voting 7-2 to deny the permit renewal.
The biggest problems neighbors had involved noise and trash. One neighbor video-taped issues they had with sound. Those with Wine Barn accused them of “amplifying it.”
Mikijanis is unsure whether or not they will pursue a possible avenue for appeal.
Josh Helmuth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.