New Windsor supports Parker Run Vineyard

Robert Blackford
About 60 people turned up at the Mercer County Board meeting March 1, many in support of Parker Run Vineyard, which is seeking a zoning permit from Mercer County

About 60 people were in attendance at the Mercer County Board's March 1 meeting in support of Parker Run Vineyard, an enterprise connected to The Big Red Barn in New Windsor. Owners of The Big Red Barn (Brian and Jacquilyn Anseeuw) would like to start a vineyard at the site.

The board listened to Parker Run Vineyard attorney Dan Churchill lay out the vineyard's case seeking a permit which would allow the Vineyard to begin operations. Churchill said the Anseeuw's would eventually like to start a bed and breakfast at the site.

Churchill noted the owners of The Big Red Barn have donated the use of the facility for many civic activities. Churchill noted that the entire county benefits from the site by the fact that it draws people to the community. It brings a lot of good will to the county."

States Attorney Greg McHugh said he felt there were three options open to Parker Run, that they rezone commercial, receive a one year permit or operate illegally and be fined.

At the Feb. 17 meeting of the  Mercer County Zoning Board of Appeals Parker Run Vineyard requested a Conditional Use Permit . The zoning board voted unanimously, 4-0 to deny the permit. Mercer County Assessor Don St. Germaine said he was surprised at how the vote went without the zoning board.

"We tried to find a solution to the issue. St. Germaine added, "It probably needs to be rezoned at some time."

Don Fowler, the Rivoli Township Road Commissioner was present at both the zoning meeting and the county board meeting. Fowler also addressed the board noting that The Big Red Barn is an asset to the community but "Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong." Fowler wanted to see the property rezoned right. "We need to start doing things the right way. That's what I'm after.