The opening of the Rapid Creek Cidery at Wilson’s Orchard on Dingleberry Road has been noted in several media stories applauding the project. While I am agnostic about the new building itself, there is an aside to the cidery story that should concern all county citizens. The cidery offers unique amenities, but those came at a high price and I hope they remain one of a kind.
The item in the June 2015 agenda was simple: An application by Wilson’s Orchard for a conditional use permit for a retail orchard and winery. As defined in the Johnson County Code of Ordinances, a retail orchard is “land used for the growing and limited sale of trees, fruits, vegetables and the retail sale of assorted products not produced on site.” The ordinance defines a cidery as “a facility for the preparation, marketing and distribution of (cider). May include a tasting room or sales area.” Good for Wilson’s, I thought. Not thinking those definitions would be abused, I did not attend that meeting. […]