Large Crowd At Bond County Board Meeting, For & Against Proposed Vineyard

It was standing room only at the Bond County Board meeting Tuesday night. The large crowd had gathered both in support of and against a rezoning request by Stacey and Christina Howard, seeking to re-zone five acres off of Red Ball Trail in LaGrange Township from A-1 agriculture to C-1 commercial. Stacey Howard, a resident of Oregon, was at the meeting and said she’d like to raise a barn and plant a vineyard, with the possibility of eventually opening an indoor/outdoor event center. Zoning Administrator Ed Doll told the board the Zoning Board of Appeals was recommending a special use permit for an agriculture-related business rather than getting into “spot zoning” in the area.

Two members of the audience expressed concern, citing the possibility of increased traffic and noise, parking lot lights, and the possibility of property value decreasing in the area. Howard said she expected the project to increase property values. When asked by a member of the audience, Howard said she had no intention of applying for a liquor license.

Doll said the zoning board saw no reason not to pass the request and noted the permit would be reviewed every five years. The county board unanimously approved the special use permit.